The St. Catharine men’s basketball team (7-3, 1-1 MSC) found themselves knocking on the door of the NAIA top-25 with the release of the polls on Wednesday.
The Patriots received 29 votes for a top-25 rating in the latest top-25 poll, placing them in 28th place overall. The Patriots joined three other Mid-South Conference schools in the nation’s top 30; Georgetown College (2), University of Pikeville (3), and Cumberland University (23) all received national rankings. The Patriots have had a standout season thus far, defeating two top-25 opponents (Life University and West Virginia Tech), and have fallen by just one in overtime to the University of Pikeville and by only two to NAIA Division 2 defending national champion Cardinal Stritch. The Patriots are averaging 85 points per contest to their opponent’s 75.4 and are ranked 10th in the country in offensive rebounds per game with 15. The Patriots are led by four players scoring in the double digits: Will Tolefree (15.4), Omar Skinner (13.1), Will Bailey (12.4), and Julito Hutchinson (11.1). The Patriots will look to continue their success with the addition of Tyler Smothers (Lexington, Ky.), Chris Sterusky (Lexington, Ky.), and Raymon Austin (Cleveland, Ohio) to the roster for the second half of the season.
The Patriots will square off against #9 William Carey University at 7:30 PM on Thursday in Hattiesburg, Miss. before their exhibition contest with NCAA Division 1 University of Southern Mississippi.