October 16, 2003
Division II Bulletin says USI is number two nationally
The University of Southern Indiana men’s basketball team was ranked second in the Division II Bulletin Preseason Top 25 on Wednesday. The Division II Bulletin Top 25 is the official poll for the NCAA Division II men’s basketball.
The Screaming Eagles, who were picked to win the GLVC by the league’s coaches last week, were ranked third earlier this month by Street & Smith’s College Basketball. The final preseason Division II poll will be released in the next couple of weeks by Basketball Times.
Last fall, Division II Bulletin ranked USI in the number eight position.
USI head coach Rick Herdes leads a veteran squad into action in 2003-04. During his first two years, Herdes' teams have produced 47 victories against only 15 defeats for a .758 winning percentage.
Leading the way for Herdes are a pair of preseason honorable mention All-Americans (Street & Smith College Basketball) in senior forward Billy Harris (Carbondale, Illinois) and senior center John Oden (St. Louis, Missouri). Harris, a second team All-GLVC and All-Region performer, was USI’s top rebounder a year ago with 7.5 rpg and ranked third on the team with 13.0 ppg. Oden, a transfer from DePaul University, practiced with USI all last season and is anticipated to become a dominating player in the GLVC.
The Eagles also return their second leading scorer from last season in junior guard Cris Brunson (Evansville, Indiana). The honorable mention All-GLVC performer averaged 13.2 ppg last season.
“To be recognized nationally is a great honor for the program and the players,” said third-year Head Coach Rick Herdes. “I am grateful to Division II Bulletin for its recognition of our program. This week, we have started the work that will get us to our goal, because it is not where you start, but where you finish.
“This type of recognition makes you want work that much harder,” continued Herdes. “Also, a lot of the credit goes to my assistant coaches, who have done a great job in the recruiting process.”
Division II Bulletin
Top 25 Preseason Poll
1. Humbolt State
2. Southern Indiana
3. South Dakota
4. UMass Lowell
5. Cal Poly Pomona
6. Northeastern State
8. Tarleton State
11. Metropolitan State
12. Kentucky Wesleyan
15. South Dakota State
16. Northwest Missouri
17. Florida Southern
18. Columbus State
19. Saint Rose
20. Florida Gulf Coast
22. Kennesaw State
24. Nebraska Kearney
Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information