The Mount Vernon Nazarene College men's basketball team continued its streak of being in every NAIA Division II national poll for the past three seasons as the Cougars were ranked 15th in the 2000-2001 preseason poll that was released on Tuesday afternoon.
Coming off a 26-8 season a year ago, MVNC has been to three consecutive NAIA Division II national tournaments and posted four straight 20-win campaigns.
"I think that this ranking is based more on the reputation that we have established over the past few years," said head coach Scott Flemming. "We will have to prove that we deserve this ranking when the season gets under way."
Defending NAIA Division II national champion Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Fla.) is the top-ranked team in the preseason poll followed by Oregon Institute of Technology, Cornerstone University (Mich.), and the University of St. Francis (Ind.).
Defending American Mideast Conference champion St. Vincent College (Pa.) rounds out the top five and is the highest ranked NAIA Division II team that the Cougars are scheduled to play this season. Other conference opponents to receive votes are Walsh University and Geneva College (Pa.). Roberts Wesleyan College (N.Y.) also received votes and will be one of MVNC's opponents in the NCCAA East Region Classic on November 17-18.
In the NAIA Division I preseason poll, the Cougars will face three opponents who are ranked. MVNC will play Central State University, ranked 19th, twice during the AMC portion of the team's schedule. The Cougars will also face fourth-ranked Spring Hill College (Ala.) and 25th-ranked Brewton-Parker College (Ga.) at the Palm Beach Atlantic College (Fla.) Tournament on December 29-30.
MVNC will get its season under way on November 10 when the Cougars will face Judson College (Ill.) at 8:00 p.m. in the second game of the Cougar Homecoming Classic.