NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Coming off the program’s second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and its third-consecutive Southland Conference title, the Stephen F. Austin men’s basketball squad has seen its status as one of the nation’s top mid-major programs solidify even more, and the 2015-16 CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll has reflected that.
A panel of 31 mid-major coaches – including the likes of Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall and former SFA bench boss Danny Kasper (now at the reins of Texas State) – voted the Lumberjacks the fourth-best mid-major team in the nation behind only Wichita State, Gonzaga and Valparaiso.
Two members of the ‘Jacks 2015-16 opposition – Northern Iowa and Western Michigan – also checked in on the list, which will be updated on a weekly basis as the season moves along.
About to set off on his third year of service as the ‘Jacks head man, two-time defending Southland Conference coach of the year Brad Underwood has assembled a 16-man roster comprised of returners and newcomers in the hopes of continuing SFA’s success on the hardwood.
No NCAA Division I men’s basketball coach has piled up more wins through his first two seasons at the helm of a program than Underwood, who is the owner of a 61-8 record. The winning percentage of .884 that comes along with that lofty mark is the third-best through two seasons in NCAA Division I men’s basketball history, too.
Reigning Southland Conference Player of the Year and two-time All-American Thomas Walkup headlines a strong contingent of returners for SFA. Of the five regular starters from a season ago, the ‘Jacks retained the services of four of them including Walkup, sophomore Ty Charles, junior Dallas Cameron and senior Trey Pinkney.
Those individuals will lead the ‘Jacks to Waco on Friday, Nov. 13, when SFA pops the cork on its 2015-16 slate by tangling with No. 22/21-ranked Baylor at 8:30 p.m.
Now in its 17th year of existence, the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll is made up of teams from the America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt, West Coast and Western Athletic conferences.
CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll
School (First-place votes) • Points • Conference
- Wichita State (21) • 764 • Missouri Valley
- Gonzaga (9) • 751 • West Coast
- Valparaiso (1) • 638 • Horizon
- Stephen F. Austin • 579 • Southland
- BYU • 561 • West Coast
- Iona • 549 • Metro Atlantic
- Northern Iowa • 537 • Missouri Valley
- Belmont • 504 • Ohio Valley
- Evansville • 388 • Missouri Valley
- Central Michigan • 369 • Mid-American
- Yale • 254 • Ivy League
- University of Louisiana • 242 • Sun Belt
- North Florida • 239 • Atlantic Sun
- Oakland • 238 • Horizon
- Illinois State • 236 • Missouri Valley
- Akron • 222 • Mid-American
- Montana • 221 • Big Sky
- UC Irvine • 219 • Big West
- Harvard • 201 • Ivy League
- Pepperdine • 187 • West Coast
- Western Michigan • 180 • Mid-American
- Hofstra • 160 • Colonial
- Saint Mary’s • 149 • West Coast
- NJIT • 148 • Atlantic Sun
- Bucknell • 116 • Patriot