In a historic milestone for the Lacey-based university’s athletic history, the Saint Martin’s University men’s basketball team has been voted #1 in the latest D2CSC poll and CBB Nation poll for Week 9 of the ongoing NCAA Div II Basketball action, a first in school history for any team to reach this milestone.
This was confirmed after the release of the D2CSC poll, which is voted on weekly by numerous college sports communicators and media members throughout Division II, for Week 9 last January 22 when the Saints bested the rest of the division, followed by the CBB Nation power rankings released a day after, showing the same Saints on top.
This is a deserved reward for Saint Martin’s pulsating 16-1 record to start off the Div II basketball season, which includes crucial wins against last season’s March Madness participants and regional rivals Point Loma and Academy of Art while suffering their only stain of their flawless record by far from a one-point overtime defeat against Northwest Nazarene.
Not only is this the first time any Saint Martin’s sport has been ranked #1 nationally, it also marks the first time since February 15, 2016, that a GNAC men's basketball team was on top of a National poll, as Western Oregon was #1 in both the NABC and D2CCA poll that week.
“The latest rankings and any success we're having is simply a result of having such a special group of players," said Head Coach Aaron Landon, "They're focused on the right things, they work incredibly hard and they're unselfish people who care about each other. Saint Martin's is a special place that gave us all a home and opportunity, so we love to see our school get recognition like this."
Coming from their first regional qualification since 2019 last year, the Saints marched in the 2024 season behind an unflinching roster of talented veterans, savvy transfers, and one of the deepest rosters in all of college basketball.
Led by 6’5” senior guard Kyle Greeley averaging 16.9 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game, the Saints have shown explosive offense and a stifling defense, holding opponents to the second lowest field goal percentage in the country, while sitting in the top 20 in scoring, with over 86 points per game.
This achievement not only solidifies Saint Martin's University's position as a force within the highly contested collegiate basketball landscape, but it also reflects a broader upward trend in the competitive success materializing across the Saints' entire athletic department.
"Our players set program goals last October and none of them included polls or rankings. They're doing a great job staying connected to our goals and facing the challenge ahead," said Coach Landon.
The Saints will go back in action at home at Marcus Pavilion Thursday, February 1st, to face the 2012 National Champions Western Washington University.
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