KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Saint Leo University men's basketball team checks in at No. 14 in the NABC/Division II pre-season rankings, announced Friday from Kansas City, Missouri.
After participating in their first NCAA Regional Tournament last season, the Lions have notched their name on more than one preseason poll this year. Last week, the Lions were ranked 13th in the Basketball Times Pre-Season Top 20, and just before they defeated Division I University of Miami in a pre-season exhibition game, Saint Leo came in at No. 14 in the NABC poll, the only Sunshine State Conference team to make the top-25.
With nearly the same lineup as last year, the Lions stand for the second time among the nation's best teams, mixed in with their NCAA South Region rival, the University of Alabama-Huntsville.
As in previous pre-season polls, West Liberty takes the No. 1 spot in the NABC pre-season poll. The Saint Leo Lions squared off against the West Liberty Hilltoppers last season, and although the contest was evenly matched, the Hilltoppers walked away with the victory.
The 2012-13 men's basketball season began Friday Nov. 2 when they travelled to Coral Gables, Fla. and defeated the University of Miami Hurricanes. On Monday, Nov. 5, the Lions will head to the state capital and take on the Florida State University Seminoles in their last pre-season game. The regular season starts Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. when Saint Leo hosts recent NCAA transplant and former NAIA powerhouse Shorter University, from the Lions' home court in the Marion Bowman Activities Center.
Below is the complete poll:
1. West Liberty (12 first place votes)
4. Bellarmine (2 first place votes)
5. Metropolitan State
6. Western Washington (1 first place vote)
7. Winona State
9. Seattle Pacific
10. Franklin Pierce
12. Southern Indiana
13. Colorado School of Mines
14. Saint Leo
15. Winston-Salem State
16. Christian Brothers
17. Tarleton State
18. Lincoln Memorial
19. Arkansas Tech
20. Chico State
23. Midwestern State
25. Cal Poly Pomona