The Daemen College men’s basketball team has been ranked No. 14 in the NCAA Division II Sports Information Directors of America (D2SIDA) national media poll for week seven of the 2018-19 season. It marks the first time in Daemen’s NCAA Division II era that it has been nationally-ranked in a top-25 poll conducted during the playing season.
“I would like to congratulate head coach Mike MacDonald and our men’s basketball team on this historic achievement,” said Traci Murphy, director of athletics. “As a relatively young NCAA Division II program, it’s not easy to earn a place in the national spotlight in such a short amount of time. The team has worked tremendously hard to put themselves in this position, and the results are starting to gain traction and notoriety at the national level.”
Daemen earned 169 points in the D2SIDA national media poll, which is voted on by sports information professionals from around the country. Their ascent into the national rankings followed being named the No. 1 ranked team in the D2SIDA East Region media poll.
“We are excited to be the first team in Daemen men’s basketball history to be ranked in the Division II top 25,” said head coach Mike MacDonald. “It’s a true testament to the resiliency of this team to withstand all of the injuries that we have had in order to be in this position. The great thing is that Western New York is really starting to notice how good this team is and how much fun they are to watch.”
The Wildcats’ signature win of the season came against previously unbeaten Saint Anselm, which was billed as the regional “Game of the Year” by experts at d2easthoops.org. It marked Daemen’s second win against a nationally-ranked opponent in the team’s NCAA Division II era.
At the season’s outset, the Wildcats were picked second in the ECC preseason poll, and 22nd in the Division II Bulletin preseason national poll, while also receiving top 25 votes in both the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and D2SIDA preseason national polls. In addition to their inclusion in this week’s D2SIDA national media poll, the Wildcats are receiving votes in the NABC national poll for the second straight week.
“We all realize that we have a long way to go in the season and many tough conference games to play,” said MacDonald. “I believe this team has the ability to get better. We feel like we can improve and grow as players settle into roles and we develop our rotation going forward.”