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Above the Rim Report: ASC Men's Basketball Weekly Notebook
November 25, 2002


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National Polls Top 25
Preseason (November)

Rank Team Pts.
1 Washington Univ. (15) 597
2 Carthage (3) 519
3 Rochester (1) 499
4 Wisconsin-Oshkosh 495
5 Catholic 477
6 Randolph-Macon 461
7 Hampden-Sydney 414
8 Capital (3) 405
9 Elizabethtown 344
10 Otterbein (2) 327
11 Williams (1) 299
12 Hope College 288
13 Wisconsin-Stevens Point 269
14 DePauw 255
15 Calvin 243
16 Brockport State 194
17 Wisconsin-Whitewater 188
18 St. Thomas 169
19 Amherst 167
20 Clark 160
21 Christopher Newport 131
22 Lewis & Clark 118
23 Wittenberg 112
24 Ohio Northern 104
25 North Carolina Wesleyan 102
ASC Receiving Votes: Mississippi College (41)

DIII News Top 25
Preseason (October 15)

Rank Team
1 Washington Univ. (Mo.)
2 Williams College
3 Catholic
4 Wisconsin-Oshkosh
5 Rochester
6 Hampden-Sydney
7 Cathage
8 Calvin
9 Randolph-Macon
10 Brockport
11 Wisconsin-Stevens Point
12 UMass-Dartmouth
13 Wooster
14 Elizabethtown
15 Otterbein
16 Hope College
17 Rockford College
18 St. Thomas (Minn.)
19 Clark
20 Capital
21 Lewis & Clark
22 DePauw
23 Babson
24 Cabrini
25 Ohio Northern

Above the Rim Report . . .

Busy Thanksgiving Week Schedule: All 15 American Southwest Conference men's basketball teams will be in action during Thanksgiving week with games scheduled on five of the next seven days. Ten teams got their 2002-03 campaigns underway last weekend (Nov. 22-23) with five other programs seeing their first play of the year this week. Several ASC teams will be involved in the season's first conference cross-divisional match-ups over the week.

Choctaws, Yellow Jackets Top ASC Preseason Polls: The ASC coaches and media both picked Mississippi College and Howard Payne to finish atop their respective divisions in preseason polls conducted in October. MC was 22-3 a year ago and won both the East Division and conference tournament titles, advancing to the second round of the NCAA-III Championship. The Yellow Jackets were 13-12 last season and tied for fourth in the West. A pair of high-scoring guards were named by both the coaches and the media as division preseason players of the year. Ryan Vines (Negreet, La.) of Louisiana College was selected East Division Preseason Player of the Year while Benny West (Dallas, Texas) of Howard Payne was selected West Division Preseason Player of the Year.
Coaches and Media Preseason Polls

Choctaws Get National Notice: Defending ASC Tournament and East Division champion Mississippi College was among teams receiving votes in the Preseason Top 25 poll. MC finished the 2001-02 season ranked No. 21 in the on-line media ranking.

Slam Dunks . . .

Austin College: The Kangaroos have challenging pre-Thanksgiving schedule, traveling to Division I Southland Conference favorite Sam Houston State for a Tuesday game (Nov. 26).

Concordia-Austin: The Tornadoes are at Houston Baptist on Tuesday (Nov. 26) to begin the 2002-03 season schedule. . . . Former All-ASC forward K.B. DeBord toured Australia as a member of a college all-star team in July before heading to Austria where he is playing professionally with the Mattersburg 49ers this fall.

East Texas Baptist: The Tigers finished each of their first two games with four players scoring in double-figures. Three players--Justin Booth (17-12-29 points), Curtiss Carter (16-10-26 pts.) and Rod Ceasar (26-15-41 pts.)--recorded double-digit points in both games. . . . ETBU outshot both of its season-opening opponents, combining for 66-of-145 (.455) shooting for the weekend.

Hardin-Simmons: The Cowboys play on the road for the first week of their season, opening at UT Dallas on Monday (Nov. 25), at UT Permian Basin on Wednesday (Nov. 27), at Ozarks on Saturday (Nov. 30) and at Austin College December 2.

Howard Payne: Benny West recorded game-highs in points (25) and rebounds (13) in the Yellow Jackets' season-opening 81-75 loss at Division II Abilene Christian (Nov. 22). West came back with 11 points and five rebounds in Saturday's 77-71 loss at Wayland Baptist (Nov. 23).

LeTourneau: The YellowJackets make their season debut Tuesday (Nov. 26) at NCAA Division I Stephen F. Austin before hosting Concordia-Austin (Nov. 30) and Mary Hardin-Baylor (Dec. 1) in ASC cross-division games.

Louisiana College: The Wildcats won two games at the Mississippi College Farm Bureau Classic to open the season 2-0.

Mary Hardin-Baylor: The Crusaders, who opened the season playing at Division II Midwestern State (Nov. 22), takes on Division I Southwest Texas State on Monday night (Nov. 25). . . . F Justin Hejl led UMHB with 17 points and eight rebounds in the 84-71 loss at MSU. . . . Brandon Gatlin totaled 13 points and three assists in his Crusader debut at Midwestern State.

McMurry: G Mario Mungia opened the season a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line in an 18-point performance against UT Permian Basin (Nov. 23). . . . McMurry shot an impressive .556 from the floor in its season-opening 87-75 win vs. UT Permian Basin. The Indians led 50-34 at the half after hitting 18-of-27 from the floor, including seven three-pointers. . . . Guards Tarus Jones (15 points), Eddie Love (12) and Michael Qualls (11) completed a foursome of double-digit scorers in the season-opener.

Mississippi College: Eighteen-year assistant coach Don Lofton got his first season as Choctaws head coach started successfully with a pair of wins in the MC Farm Bureau Classic (Nov. 22-23). Lofton replaced Mike Jones who is now full-time athletic director at MC. . . . F Tracy Phillips averaged 12 points and 7.0 rebounds while playing just 21 minutes in the season-opening wins vs. Concordia-Selma and Pensacola Christian. Phillips missed just one of his nine field goal attempts (87 percent) for the weekend. . . . MC finished 17th in the 2001-02 NCAA-III attendance rankings, averaging 1,356 spectators over its 11 home dates.

Ozarks: Transfer F Michael Bollman made an immediate impact with the Eagles, scoring 28 points and seven rebounds in his debut in the 90-88 win against Bluffton College (Nov. 22). . . . Ozarks opened the season 1-1, losing to host North Central College (Ill.) 81-78 on a shot at the buzzer in its second game at the NCC Tournament (Nov. 23).

Schreiner: Senior F Brian Stickel led the Mountaineers with 12 points, including eight free throws, in the season-opening 88-60 loss at Texas Wesleyan (Nov. 23).

Sul Ross State: Sul Ross opens the year with a new head coach, Doug Davallos. . . . xxxx. . . . The Lobos finished the 2001-02 season tied at No. 4 for the most improved NCAA-III tam. SRSU, who was 12-13 a year ago under head coach Roger Grant, posted an 8-1/2 game improvement from its 3-21 record in 2000-01.

UT Dallas: The Comets open their first week with four home games beginning with Monday's (Nov. 25) cross-division match-up against Hardin-Simmons.

Texas Lutheran: Will Hudson and Tommy Stolhandske earned all-tournament honors at the Chuck Resler Tournament. Hudson totaled 31 points 13 rebounds while Stolhandske finished with 36 points and 17 rebounds. . . . Texas Lutheran stays outside the Texas border for another weekend, traveling to ASC cross-division foes Mississippi College on Saturday (Nov. 30) and Louisiana College on Monday (Dec. 2).

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