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Home arrow Sports arrow EASTERN MEN CRACK TOP 25


Art Furman ().
Art Furman ().

For the first time since 1993-94, the Eastern Oregon University men's basketball team has been ranked in the top-25 by the coaches of the NAIA.

Eastern was ranked No. 19 in the latest NAIA Div. II coaches' poll.

"Isn't that sweet? That's tremendous," said coach Art Furman.

Eastern is 7-3 overall and 3-1 in Cascade Collegiate Conference play. Furman thinks two big wins — over Carroll College (ranked No. 18 in NAIA Div. I) and Hawaii-Pacific, an NCAA Div. II team — had a lot to do with Eastern's ranking.

Furman also said the CCC has the reputation nationwide as being a very tough basketball conference, so Eastern's 3-1 record in conference is a factor. Three CCC teams — Albertson (No. 5), Eastern and Concordia (No. 25) are ranked. Another conference team, Oregon Tech, received a number of votes from coaches, but did not crack the top 25.

Furman said Eastern Sports Information Director Sam Ghrist gave him the news Tuesday. Furman said he told the first players at practice, Seth Pennington (La Grande HS), Konrad Bomberger (Union HS), and Kevin Johnson (Imbler HS), as well as Brock Canady, a California transfer.

"The local guys were the first to know about it," Furman said. He said this validates how hard his players have been working all year. He thinks it will act as a motivator for the players for the rest of the year.

"This ought to make us practice harder, and take a step further," he said.

Eastern will get a huge test of its ranking Saturday night, as the Mountaineers take on No. 5 Albertson College (11-4). Albertson jumped to No. 5 from last week's No. 10 ranking after a sweep of Cascade and Warner Pacific over the weekend.

Albertson has lost three of its last four trips in Quinn Coliseum.

Tip-off for Saturday's matchup will be approximately 7:30 pm. The women, who are also having an excellent season so far at 9-2 (3-1 in CCC), will play Albertson at 5:30 p.m.

NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Ranking

January 6, 2004

Rank School 1st W-L Pts.

1 Jamestown (N.D.) 18 12-1 450

2 Taylor (Ind.) 14-2 420

3 Siena Heights (Mich.) 15-2 416

4 William Jewell (Mo.) 13-2 395

5 Albertson (Idaho) 11-4 360

6 St. Ambrose (Iowa) 13-2 340

7 Northwestern (Iowa) 12-3 334

8 St. Vincent (Pa.) 9-1 331

9 Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) 13-3 318

10 Cornerstone (Mich.) 14-3 296

11 Concordia (Neb.) 11-3 248

12 Bethel (Ind.) 14-4 240

13 Huntington (Ind.) 13-3 221

14 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) 13-5 207

15 Cedarville (Ohio) 11-5 199

16 Dickinson State (N.D.) 12-4 194

17 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) 8-7 126

18 Bellevue (Neb.) 9-5 110

19 Eastern Oregon 7-3 108

20 Indiana Tech 12-3 103

21 Friends (Kan.) 7-4 75

22 Dominican (Calif.) 9-5 73

23 Flagler (Fla.) 11-5 62

24 Presentation (S.D.) 8-2 36

25 Concordia (Ore.) 10-5 35

Others Receiving Votes:

Minot State (N.D.), 34; Bethel (Tenn.), 23; Missouri Valley, 21; Point Park (Pa.), 20; Sioux Falls (S.D.), 15; Oregon Tech, 13; McPherson (Kan.), 12; Mount Mercy (Iowa), 10; Daemen (N.Y.), 2; Marian (Ind.), 2; Warner Southern (Fla.), 1

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