Men's hoops garners No. 9 national ranking in preseason

Men's hoops garners No. 9 national ranking in preseason

WALTHAM, Mass. - The Brandeis University men's basketball teamis ranked No. 9 in the nation in d3hoops.com's annual NCAA DivisionIII men's basketball preseason poll.

Brandeis is coming off a 23-6 season in which the Judges reachedthe Elite Eight of the NCAA Division III tournament. Among theteams they defeated in the 2007-08 regular season were bothnational finalists, runner-up Amherst College (ranked No. 15 in thepreseason poll) and champions Washington (Mo.) University (thetop-ranked team in the preseason poll).

In head coach Brian Meehan's sixth season, the Judges returnjust two starters from last season - senior guard KevinOlson of Rockport, Mass., and juniorforward Terrell Hollins of Springfield,Mass. - but will have the services of SteveDeLuca of Merrimack, N.H., who received amedical hardship year after playing in just two early-seasoncontests. Hollins is the team's top returning scorer and rebounder,averaging 13.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game as a sophomore.Olson averaged 10.8 points per game, third on the team last season,while his 53 3-pointers are tops among returners. DeLuca was ad3hoops.com pre-season All-American in 2007-08 and enters this yearranked No. 17 on Brandeis's career scoring list with 1,178 points.The Judges also return junior guard and sparkplug AndreRoberson of Springfield,Mass., who averaged 9.7 points and 2.7 assists in 22.5minutes per game off the bench.

The Brandeis schedule includes four other teams ranked among thetop 25 this season. The Judges will face No. 1 Washington (Jan. 30at home and Feb. 8 on the road) and No. 22 Chicago (Feb. 1 at home,Feb. 6 on the road) twice in University Athletic Association play,while No. 15 Amherst (Jan. 20, away) and No. 16 Rhode IslandCollege (Dec. 4, home) are part of the non-conference slate. Inall, half of Brandeis's 24 games are against teams that appeared inthe NCAA tournament last season. In addition to the four rankedteams, UAA foe the University of Rochester (Jan. 9, home, andFeb.15, away) is on the slate twice, while Lasell (Nov. 18), WPI(Nov. 22), UMass Dartmouth (Nov. 25) and Curry College (Jan. 5) areall non-conference opponents who made the big dance.

The d3hoops.com Division III Men's Basketball PreseasonNational Poll (first place votes in parentheses):

 

No. Team        W-L?? Pts.?? Final '08
1??? Washington U. (23)???  25-6??? 621???? 1
2??? Augustana????????????       23-6??? 570???? 5
3??? Wheaton (Ill.)???????       22-8??? 492??? 11
4??? UW-Whitewater (1)???? 24-5??? 488???? 8
5??? St. Thomas???????????       23-5??? 417???? -
6??? UW-Stevens Point?????  23-7??? 401??? 10
7??? UW-Platteville (1)???     19-7??? 375???? -
8??? Buena Vista??????????       23-7??? 363??? 14
9??? BRANDEIS?????????????    23-6??? 338???? 4
10?? Mary Hardin-Baylor???  26-4??? 299??? 17
11?? Gettysburg???????????      24-5??? 291???? -
12?? Ursinus??????????????         29-4??? 276???? 7
13?? Centre???????????????         26-3??? 269???? 9
14?? Randolph-Macon???????  20-6??? 215???? -
15?? Amherst????????? ?????       27-4??? 208???? 2
16?? Rhode Island College? 23-7??? 200???? -
17?? Elmhurst?????????????        18-8??? 187???? -
18?? Illinois Wesleyan????    16-11?? 183???? -
19?? Lawrence?????????????       22-3??? 181??? 18
20?? Hope?????????????????          28-4??? 165???? 3
21?? Wooster??????????????        23-5??? 162??? 19
22?? Chicago??????????????         18-8??? 160??? 25
23?? Widener??????????????        23-6??? 154???? -
24?? Virginia Wesleyan????   23-7??? 151??? 22
25?? Elms?????????????????           23-7???? 94???? -
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Others receiving votes: Maryville (Tenn.) 84, Millsaps 83, Capital 76, St.
Mary's (Md.) 71, Loras 70, Puget Sound 69, Middlebury 56, Coast Guard 41,
Whitworth 40, Calvin 36, Mass-Dartmouth 33, Richard Stockton 32, Guilford
27, Bethel 26, Averett 23, Bowdoin 18, Cortland State 14, Defiance 12,
Transylvania 10, Wittenberg 9, Albion 8, Plattsburgh State 8, William
Paterson 8, Scranton 6, Carleton 3, Brockport State 1, Franklin 1, Geneseo
State 1.
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The D3hoops.com Top 25 is voted on by a panel of 25 coaches, Sports
Information Directors and media members from across the country, and is
published weekly.

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