Kansas City Mo. – With its 2012-13 campaign set to begin against No. 4 ranked Indiana Wesleyan University (Ind.) on Tuesday, October 30, the Saint Xavier University men's basketball team received the No. 14 ranking when the NAIA released its Men's Division II Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Preseason Poll from the national office earlier this week. The Cougars, who return three starters from last year's squad including 2011-12 NAIA All-American Second Team guard Brad Karp (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso), are coming off another solid season after going 23-9 overall. SXU fell in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) semifinals to rival Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.), 76-71, last March.
"It is always nice to be ranked among the nation's best teams, but truthfully this ranking has more to do with last year's success than this year," said SXU men's basketball coach Tom O'Malley. "Our team goals are to have one of the top national rankings when the season comes to an end, win the conference and compete for a national championship. I really believe that we have the talent on this year's squad to achieve those goals."
Saint Xavier officially opens its 2012-13 season on the road next Tuesday against No. 4 ranked Indiana Wesleyan. The game is slated to start at 7 p.m. (eastern).