November 29, 2005
USI men's basketball ranked fourth nationally
Eagles begins GLVC schedule on the road
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team was ranked fourth in the first regular season NCAA Division II top 25 poll conducted by the NABC. The Screaming Eagles moved up five spots after being ranked ninth in the preseason poll.
The GLVC also was represented by Saint Joseph's College, which moved into the poll at number 13.
The Eagles have started the year 6-0 for the ninth time in the history of the program. The 2005-06 squad still has a ways to go to catch the 2000-01 team that started its season 16-0.
USI will begin the defense of its 2005 GLVC crowns on the road when it travels to the University of Missouri-Rolla on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and the University of Missouri-St. Louis on Saturday at 3 p.m. The USI-UMR match will be the first time the two institutions will play in conference action.
The Eagles are coming off a 3-0 homestand that saw them extend their home winning streak to 26 games. Senior forward Chris Thompson (Starke, Florida) led the team during the homestand with 22.3 ppg and 9.0 rpg and for the season with 22.5 ppg and 10.7 rpg.
Thompson is followed in the scoring column by junior guard Melvin Hall (Evansville, Indiana) with 15.0 ppg senior guard David Bryant (Louisville, Kentucky) with 12.8 ppg and junior forward/center Keith Christmas (Gary, Indiana) with 10.0 ppg. Christmas also is second on the team with 6.5 rpg.
The Miners from UMR begin GLVC action with a 2-3 overall record. UMR is coming off a victory over Central Bible Collge, 79-63, on Monday after losing three straight.
Thursday's game will be the fourth meeting between USI and UMR with the Miners leading the series, 2-1. The Eagles won the last meeting back in 1989-90, 76-66, at the Physical Activities Center.
The Rivermen of UMSL are a perfect 4-0 in their eight-game homestand to begin the 2005-06 campaign. UMSL picked up a pair of victories over the weekend, defeating Brescia University and Arkansas Tech University and hosts Kentucky Wesleyan College on Thursday prior to hosting USI.
USI has won the last eight meetings with UMSL after sweeping all three games from the Rivermen in 2005-06. The Eagles lead the all-time series, 21-10, and are 11-1 versus the Rivermen since 2000.
NABC Division II Top 25
1. Montevallo (6), 5-0
2. Bentley, 5-0
3. Tarleton State, 3-1
4. Southern Indiana (1), 6-0
5. Virginia Union (1), 1-1
6. Mont Olive, 3-0
7. South Dakota, 5-0
8. Western Washington, 3-1
9. Lynn, 3-1
10. Central Missouri State, 5-0
11. Seattle Pacific, 4-0
12. Northern State, 6-0
13. Saint Joseph's, 4-0
14. Pfeiffer, 3-0
15. Saint Rose, 4-1
16. Emporia State, 5-1
17. Catawba, 4-0
18. Findlay, 3-1
19. Columbus State, 5-1
20. Metropolitan State, 3-2
21. Winona State, 3-1
22. West Virginia State, 4-1
23. Florida Southern, 4-0
24. Grand Valley State, 3-1
25. Nebraska-Omaha, 4-4
Others receiving votes: Cal Poly Pomona Alaska-Fairbanks Saint Anselm Alaska-Anchorage Holy Family Hawaii-Hilo Southwest Baptist Nebraska-Kearney Mesa State Seattle St. Mary's West Georgia Ferris State Gannon Northwood Presbyterian Alabama-Huntsville.
Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information