SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University men's basketball team is ranked 13th in The Basketball Times Preseason Top 20 it was announced in the publication's preseason release. This is the highest ranking the Lions have seen in the 2012-13 preseason and is also the first time the Lions have cracked the Top-20 in the Basketball Times in the program's history.
Taking from the Division II Bulletins and NABC release earlier this month, West Liberty earns the top-spot in the poll and is a team the Lions are familiar with. Saint Leo and the Hilltoppers squared off last season in a close game that was only decided in the final minutes. With nearly every Saint Leo player returning from last year, it served as a good test to see where the Lions stand amongst the nation's elite teams; a group which now includes Saint Leo.
The only other team from the NCAA South Region in the poll is the University of Alabama-Huntsville who hosted last season's regional tournament as they are ranked fourth.
The 2012-13 Lions tip off this year's campaign November 2 with an exhibition game against the University of Miami in Coral Gables. The regular season starts November 9 when Saint Leo hosts recent NCAA transplant and NAIA powerhouse Shorter University.
2012-13 Basketball Times
NCAA Division II Pre-Season Top 20
1. West Liberty, W. Va. (32-3)
2. Bellarmine, Ky. (29-4)
3. Washburn, Kan. (25-8)
4. Ala.-Huntsville (29-4)
5. Lincoln Memorial, Tenn. (26-6)
6. Metropolitan State, Colo. (25-7)
7. Winston-Salem, N.C. (21-9)
8. Western Washington (31-5)
9. Arkansas Tech (26-6)
10. Tarleton State, Tex. (27-6)
11. Cal Poly Pomona, Calif. (19-8)
12. Midwestern State, Tex. (29-4)
13. Saint Leo, Fla. (18-12)
14. Southwest Minnesota State (19-11)
15. Barton, N.C. (20-10)
16. Indiana, Pa. (23-6)
17. Drury, Mo. (17-11)
18. West Texas A&M (19-9)
19. St. Cloud State, Minn. (20-9)
20. Shaw, N.C. (27-4)