No. 6 ESU Men’s Basketball (16-0) Continues Climb in NABC Division II Poll

No. 6 ESU Men’s Basketball (16-0) Continues Climb in NABC Division II Poll

East Stroudsburg University climbed two more spots to No. 6 in this week’s NABC Division II Coaches Poll as the Warriors (16-0) attained the highest ranking in program history for the second straight week, it was announced Tuesday.

Coutesy of http://www.esuwarriors.com/

EAST STROUDSBURG – East Stroudsburg University climbed two more spots to No. 6 in this week’s NABC Division II Coaches Poll as the Warriors (16-0) attained the highest ranking in program history for the second straight week, it was announced Tuesday.

ESU continued its best-ever start with a 74-63 win at Bloomsburg on Wednesday in its only action last week. The Warriors have two games this week, hosting Cheyney on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Koehler Fieldhouse and traveling to West Chester on Saturday.

ESU is one of five remaining undefeated teams out of 291 schools in Division II, and one of 13 teams without a loss among the 1,043 schools in NCAA Divisions I, II and III.

The Warriors are listed in the Top 10 for the fourth straight poll, and the sixth time in school history – all in the last 12 months.

ESU’s 16-0 start is the best in the PSAC since 1994-95, when IUP opened 21-0. The Warriors have surpassed their best-ever start (13-0) in 2009-10, and their longest single-season winning streak (14 games), set in 1940-41 and matched last year.

ESU also has the second-longest active winning streak in DII at 16 games behind Florida Southern (17-0), which moved to No. 2 in this week’s poll.

This marks ESU’s eighth straight week in the national rankings. The Warriors entered at No. 23 on November 26 (the earliest in program history), advanced to No. 17 on December 3, were ranked No. 12 on December 10 and December 17, moved to No. 10 on December 31 and January 7, and were ranked No. 8 last week.

Head coach Jeff Wilson, in his 12th season, enters this week with a career record of 199-127 and can become the second coach with 200 wins in school history. The Warriors are 99-39 since he recorded his 100th career win in February 2009.

ESU is ranked in the top five in DII in four categories this week – 2nd in turnover margin (+8.1), 4th in scoring margin (+20.8) and 5th in both steals per game (10.9) and three-point defense (27.1). ESU is also ranked in the top 20 in assists per game (14th, 17.9) and assist-to-turnover ratio (19th, 1.45).

The Warriors lead the PSAC in 10 categories – scoring margin, scoring offense (87.3 ppg), field goal percentage (47.4), three-point percentage (38.7), steals, turnover margin, assists, assist-to-turnover ratio, fewest turnovers (12.3 per game) and most turnovers forced (20.4).

ESU’s backcourt of All-America junior Whis Grant (17.0 ppg), sophomore Jamal Nwaniemeka (13.2 ppg) and junior point guard Matt Tobin (9.5 ppg), who leads the PSAC with 5.6 assists per game and a 2.9 assist-to-turnover ratio, have driven the PSAC’s top scoring offense all season.

Freshman forward Rasheed Moore is the team’s top rebounder (7.0 rpg) and third-leading scorer (13.1 ppg), just behind Nwaniemeka, who has averaged more than 17 points over the last five games.

Grant is averaging 23.3 points in six PSAC East games as the Warriors’ 6-0 divisional start is the best in school history. Moore is posting 13.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in divisional competition, including 12 points and 13 rebounds in Wednesday’s win at Bloomsburg.

Grant, who leads the PSAC in three-point percentage (41.7), paces the league’s top team in that category. Redshirt junior guard Will Brown (8.9 ppg, 38.0 percent), junior forward Lamont Tillery (6.9 ppg, 37.9 percent), Nwaniemeka (37.7 percent), junior forward Zechariah Runkle (4.0 ppg, 37.0 percent) and Tobin (36.4 percent) have all made more than 10 three’s while shooting better than 36.0 percent from long distance.

Grant, an All-America honorable mention selection by two organizations last year, is the reigning PSAC East Athlete of the Year and was named to the Division II Bulletin “Super 16” prior to the season. He has been ESU’s top scorer in both of his first two seasons and ranks 16th in school history with 1,197 career points.

Tobin was named PSAC East Co-Athlete of the Week on January 13, with 20 points, 24 assists and just three turnovers in two games. He had 17 points with four assists in ESU’s last action Wednesday.


Page: [[$index + 1]]
comments powered by Disqus