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MARIETTA, Ga. – The Southern Polytechnic State University men’s basketball team, under first-year head coach Jeffrey Pourchier, begins the upcoming season ranked sixth nationally, according to the 2012-13 NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll that was recently released. The first regular-season Top 25 rating is announced on Dec. 4.

The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the NAIA conferences and unaffiliated groups. The panel also chose Southern Polytechnic as the top team in the Southern States Athletic Conference, followed by Lee University, Loyola University (La.), Belhaven University, William Carey University, the University of Mobile and Faulkner University.

“It is an honor to be ranked in the Top 10, but preseason rankings are just that, the preseason,” Pourchier said. “It just shows you the tradition and history that Southern Poly has. We have a whole new team and a new coaching staff. Every man on this team is going to work to help us win.”

In the NAIA preseason rating, the Hornets received 208 points. Defending national champion Concordia University Irvine is the top-ranked squad in the nation (250 points) and is followed by Oklahoma Baptist University (242), Georgetown College of Kentucky (231), Robert Morris University in Illinois (230) and Rogers State University (211). Rounding out the Top 10 are Our Lady of the Lake University (206 points), Westmont College (195), the University of Pikeville (188) and Columbia College in Missouri (170). Another SSAC team in the Top 25 is Lee at No. 15 (135 points). The entire poll can be viewed at naia.org.

SPSU, which finished 25-7 overall and 15-3 in the SSAC Eastern Division for second place last season, advanced to the Sweet 16 of the 2012 NAIA Division I national tournament and was ranked 11th in the country in the coaches’ postseason poll. Southern Poly opens its 2012-13 campaign next Tuesday, Oct. 30 when hosting a non-conference game with Point University. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Hornets Nest.


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