July 27, 2017

Texans begin season No. 2 in coaches poll

In four Division II national preseason polls, Tarleton State and senior point guard Michael Hardge are ranked 1, 1, 2 and 3. || TheFlashToday.com photo by BRAD KEITH

SPECIAL TO THE FLASH

TheFlashToday.com

STEPHENVILLE (October 27, 2015) — Tarleton basketball will open the 2015-16 season as the No. 2-ranked team in the nation, according to the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the official poll of the NCAA rankings.

This marks the second-highest preseason ranking in school history and the sixth time Tarleton has been in the top 10 to start a season. The 2005-06 team was ranked No. 1 and went on to finish with a 27-7 record en route to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.

“It’s an honor to be included in the NABC poll with other great programs and we appreciate the visibility it brings to our university and community,” associate head coach Chris Reisman said. “This high ranking is a testament to last year’s team and the remarkable run they made to finish the season. We are excited about this year’s team but we have a lot of work ahead of us to live up to this year’s expectations.”


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Tarleton is one of two teams from the Lone Star Conference ranked in the top 25 with Midwestern State coming in at No. 22. The Texans are scheduled to play No. 16-ranked Drury in Las Vegas on Dec. 19.

Tarleton went 31-4 last season, setting a school record for wins in a season, as they captured the Lone Star Conference championship and won the South Central regional tournament title to advance to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the third time in program history.

The Texans went on to defeat Mount Olive 77-59 for a birth in the NCAA Division II Final Four, making last season and 2005-06 as the only Tarleton teams to reach the national semifinals.

Head Coach Lonn Reisman, who enters the season with 589 wins in 27 seasons at Tarleton, returns nine members and three starters from last year’s squad. Headlining the returning Texans are Michael Hardge (10.7 points, 3.5 assists), Malcolm Hamilton (8.9 points, 3.8 rebounds), EJ Reed (8.7 points, 3.5 rebounds) and Nosa Ebomwonyi (5.5 points, 2.8 rebounds).

Reisman and his staff added six transfers and five freshmen to their already experienced roster. Of the transfers, two come to Tarleton from Division I programs in Charles Hill (TCU) and Xavier Smith (St. Bonaventure).

The Texans received No. 1 ranks from two media outlets, The Sporting News and HERO Sports. The Division II Bulletin has Tarleton at No. 3 in the nation.

Tarleton opens the season with an exhibition game against The University of Texas in Austin on Nov. 6. The regular season and home opener will be Nov. 13 as Tarleton welcomes Colorado-Colorado Springs for the Texan Tip-Off Classic.


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Preseason polls shared from Division II homepage:

NABC/Division II
Pre-Season Rankings
(Oct. 27, 2015)
1.
Augustana
31-3
2.
Tarleton State
31-4
3.
West Liberty
28-4
4.
Bellarmine
31-4
5.
Lincoln Memorial
30-3
6.
Mount Olive
31-4
7.
Indiana (Pa.)
31-7
8.
Indianapolis
25-6
9.
Minn. St.-Moorhead
35-4
10.
Colo. School of Mines
23-5
11.
California Baptist
26-7
12.
Alabama-Huntsville
23-9
13.
UNC Pembroke
26-6
14.
Northwest Missouri St.
25-7
15.
Western Washington
20-11
16.
Drury
21-9
17.
Chico State
22-8
18.
Metropolitan State
26-6
19.
So. Connecticut St.
24-8
20.
Montevallo
26-9
21.
Western Oregon
23-7
22.
Midwestern State
22-9
23.
Augusta
23-7
24.
Barry
25-6
25.
Philadelphia
24-8
Sporting News Division II
Pre-Season Rankings
(Sept. 22, 2015)
1.
Tarleton State
31-4
2.
Augustana
31-3
3.
West Liberty
28-4
4.
Lincoln Memorial
30-3
5.
Missouri Southern
20-11
6.
Bellarmine
31-4
7.
Midwestern State
22-9
8.
St. Cloud State
18-12
9.
Montevallo
26-9
10.
California Baptist
26-7
Division II Bulletin
Pre-Season Rankings
(Oct. 5, 2015)
1.
Augustana
31-3
2.
West Liberty
28-4
3.
Tarleton State
31-4
4.
Mount Olive
31-4
5.
Bellarmine
31-4
6.
Colo. School of Mines
23-5
7.
Lincoln Memorial
30-3
8.
Indiana (Pa.)
31-7
9.
Minn. St.-Moorhead
35-4
10.
UNC Pembroke
26-6
11.
Delta State
15-14
12.
Indianapolis
25-6
13.
So. Connecticut St.
24-8
14.
Chico State
22-8
15.
Alabama-Huntsville
23-9
16.
Northwest Missouri St.
25-7
17.
Augusta
23-7
18.
Western Oregon
23-7
19.
Drury
21-9
20.
Philadelphia
24-8
21.
Western Washington
20-11
22.
Bentley
15-12
23.
California Baptist
26-7
24.
Bridgeport
24-7
25.
East Central
21-10

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