XULA falls out of NAIA top 25 despite no losses since previous poll

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana was among “others receiving votes” — 29th place among the 44 teams earning points — in the NAIA men’s basketball coaches poll announced Wednesday.

XULA fell six spots from the previous poll Dec. 16, when it was 23rd. Fifth-year head coach Alfred Williams said his team’s new ranking was disappointing.

“We were 1-and-0 since the December rankings,” Williams said. “I thought at the very least we’d stay somewhere between 20th and 25th. But we’re not worrying about this very long. If our team keeps working hard, good things will happen.”

XULA this week remained unbeaten since those December rankings, winning three neutral-site games in three days in Gulf Coast Athletic Conference group play at Talladega, Ala. XULA this season is 6-1 overall — winner of 29 of its last 33 games dating to Nov. 16, 2019 — and 3-0 in the GCAC.

Indiana Wesleyan received 10-of-20 first-place votes to remain No. 1 for the second consecutive poll. The other 10 first-place votes went to No. 2 LSU-Shreveport, which will become a regular opponent next season when XULA joins the Red River Athletic Conference.

The only GCAC team in the top 25 is Talladega, which slipped from 17th to 18th. Dillard received votes for the eighth consecutive time and is in 36th place, up five spots since December.

2020-21 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses — records through Jan. 10)

Rank Team Record Points Last
1 Indiana Wesleyan (10) 18-1 551 1
2 LSU-Shreveport (10) 10-0 548 4
3 William Penn 12-1 518 2
4 Lewis-Clark State 10-1 496 7
5 Loyola (N.O.) 7-0 478 9
6 Arizona Christian 13-2 464 5
7 Shawnee State 12-2 401 NR
8 Marian (Ind.) 8-1 393 10
9 The Master’s 6-0 381 12
10 Faulkner 9-1 375 16
11 Dakota Wesleyan 13-2 367 18
12 Science & Arts 6-0 361 RV
13 Providence (Mont.) 4-0 348 14
14 Mid-America Christian 4-1 337 3
15 Morningside 13-2 311 8
16 Martin Methodist 10-1 291 24
17 Georgetown (Ky.) 7-3 210 6
18 Talladega 10-2 207 17
19 Bethel (Ind.) 13-3 200 RV
20 LSU-Alexandria 9-2 193 19
21 Texas A&M-Texarkana 5-0 182 21
22 John Brown 0-0 179 13
23 College of Idaho 4-6 167 15
24 Saint Francis (Ind.) 15-2 148 20
25 Bethel (Kan.) 10-3 144 25
        Dropped from rankings:  No. 11 Cumberlands, No. 22 SAGU, No. 23 XULA
Others receiving votes:  SAGU 118, Benedictine (Kan.) 95, Cumberlands 90, XULA 88, Point 56, Holy Cross (Ind.) 30, Oklahoma Wesleyan 27, Jamestown 25, Warner 23, Valley City State 14, Dillard 13, Freed-Hardeman 10, Indiana Tech 5, Grace 5, St. Ambrose 4, Westmont 4, Columbia International 4, Stillman 3, St. Francis (Ill.) 3
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As a New Orleans-area native, Jude grew up a fan of all sports and teams in the area. It’s a passion for the games that brought him into the fields of sports broadcasting and journalism. Whether he’s informing, reporting or entertaining, Jude brings his own special flavor to the task at hand. This Jesuit High School and Loyola New Orleans…

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