October 23, 2008

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

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

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

In head coach Brian Meehan's sixth season, the Judges return just two starters from last season - senior guard Kevin Olson of Rockport, Mass., and junior forward Terrell Hollins of Springfield, Mass. - but will have the services of Steve DeLuca of Merrimack, N.H., who received a medical hardship year after playing in just two early-season contests. 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 a d3hoops.com pre-season All-American in 2007-08 and enters this year ranked No. 17 on Brandeis's career scoring list with 1,178 points. The Judges also return junior guard and sparkplug Andre Roberson of Springfield, Mass., who averaged 9.7 points and 2.7 assists in 22.5 minutes per game off the bench.

The Brandeis schedule includes four other teams ranked among the top 25 this season. The Judges will face No. 1 Washington (Jan. 30 at 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 Island College (Dec. 4, home) are part of the non-conference slate. In all, half of Brandeis's 24 games are against teams that appeared in the NCAA tournament last season. In addition to the four ranked teams, UAA foe the University of Rochester (Jan. 9, home, and Feb.15, away) is on the slate twice, while Lasell (Nov. 18), WPI (Nov. 22), UMass Dartmouth (Nov. 25) and Curry College (Jan. 5) are all non-conference opponents who made the big dance.

The d3hoops.com Division III Men's Basketball Preseason National 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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