National runner-up, Benedictine University, has been chosen to defend its Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference men's basketball title according to the 2016-17 NACC Preseason Poll, voted on by the league's head coaches and sports information directors.
The Eagles collected all 22 first-place votes and 242 poll points. Last season, Benedictine (31-1, 20-0 NACC) ran the table in the regular season for its third consecutive regular season title. The Eagles ran their streak to 31 straight wins before an 82-76 setback to the University of St. Thomas in the NCAA Division III Championship title game.
Concordia University Wisconsin was second in the poll with 186 points, Aurora University was third with 179 and Marian University fourth with 172.
Wisconsin Lutheran College tallied 155 points for fifth, Lakeland University 151 for sixth and Milwaukee School of Engineering 99 for seventh.
Rockford University had 97 for eighth followed by Dominican University in ninth with 69. Edgewood College and Concordia University Chicago rounded out the poll with 63 and 39 points.
The NACC regular season standings determine the teams that qualify for the six-team conference tournament, while the tourney champion receives the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
2016-17 NACC Preseason Poll
1. Benedictine (22), 242
2. Concordia Wisconsin, 186
3. Aurora, 179
4. Marian, 172
5. Wisconsin Lutheran, 155
6. Lakeland, 151
7. MSOE, 99
8. Rockford, 97
9. Dominican, 69
10. Edgewood, 63
11. Concordia Chicago, 39
First-place votes in parentheses
Voted by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors
11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 point scale used
Seniors Alex Stecker (Elementary-Middle Education) and Connor Morovits (Middle School Education) were named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Honors Courts.
In order to be named to the Honors Court, a student-athlete must meet a high standard of academic criteria. The qualifications are as follows: 1. Academically a junior or senior and a varsity player; 2. Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 or higher at the conclusion of the 2015-16 academic year; 3. Students must have matriculated at least one year at their current institution; 4. Member of a NCAA Divisions I, II, III, or NAIA Divisions I or II institution with a NABC member coach.
Student-athletes competing in the conference must maintain a grade point average of 3.25 or higher for the academic year to be eligible for the honor. Each academic year stands by itself for determination of this award.
Alex Dellis, 6-2, F, Algoma
Marian University men's basketball program has picked up five stellar high school basketball players from the state of Wisconsin.
Alex Dellis of Algoma, Charlie Witek of Kewaskum, Will Polczynski of New Berlin Eisenhower, Austin Gifford of Watertown and Coy Paulson of Fond du Lac recently decided to continue their education and play basketball for the Sabres and coach Mark Boyle.
Dellis earned Player of the Year honors in the Packerland Conference as a senior when he led the league in scoring at 20.7 points per game while helping Algoma to a 17-8 record.
The 6-foot-2 wing player scored a career-high 37 points in a victory over Manitowoc Lutheran and shot 52 percent from the field, 65 percent from the free throw line and 29 percent (47 of 160) from three-point range.
Dellis is a three-year varsity performer at Algoma who averaged 12.8 ppg as a junior and earned second-team all-Packerland honors.
Witek is a phsyical 6-foot-4 forward who can score around the basket. He averaged 17.4 ppg as a senior to rank third in the East Central Conference.
A three-year varsity performer and 1,000-point scorer, Witek poured in 33 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a non-conference victory over St. Mary's Springs. He earned second-team all-league honors and helped Kewaskum to a 10-13 record.
As a junior, Witek averaged 18.5 ppg and also earned second-team all-conference recognition.
Polczynski is a 6-foot-6 forward who helped New Berlin Eisenhower to a 20-3 record and the title in the Western Division of the Woodland Conference by averaging 4.5 ppg.
Gifford had a strong senior season for Watertown, averaging 10.0 ppg for the Goslings and scoring a career-best 25 points in a victory over Grafton.
Paulson handled the ball against pressure and helped Fond du Lac to a 9-15 record by averaging 3.5 ppg in the rugged Fox Valley Association.
Marian University is a NCAA Division III school located in Fond du Lac. The Sabres compete in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference and finished 14-13 overall and 10-10 in league games last season.
MVP: Josh Creed, Junior (Brother Rice)
Defensive POY: Carvell Oliver, Senior (Manitowoc Lincoln)
Sabre Award: Marcus Kadinger, Freshman (Glenwood City) & Jack Lund, Freshman (Antigo)
WAUKESHA, Wis. – Junior Josh Creed earned First Team All-Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference honors for the second-consecutive season, the conference office announced Friday.
Creed, a Chicago native, was a dynamic player for Sabres on both ends of the court. He averaged 17 .0 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He was efficient from the charity stripe and connected on 83.3 percent of attempted free throws.
Creed's best individual performance was Jan. 6 at Lakeland. He scored 32 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, handed out five assists and was 12-of-13 at the charity stripe to lead the Sabres past the Muskies in an 87-81 overtime victory.
LISLE, Ill. – Five student-athletes scored in double figures, but No.1 seed Benedictine rallied in the second half to upend No. 5 Marian 91-82 in the semifinals of the 2015-16 Men's Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Tournament.
Both teams traded baskets in the opening minutes, however, midway through the period the Sabres went on a 9-3 run and Senior Carvell Oliver drilled a 3-pointer at 10:37 which provided the Sabres with a 19-12 advantage.
The Eagles quickly clawed back to cut the deficit to within three at 21-18, but the Sabres countered with an 8-3 run and led 29-21 with 7:23 remaining in the first half. BU made a run late in the half, but the Sabres went into the break with a 43-39 lead.
MU jumped out of the gates in the second half and Oliver hit a 3-pointer at 17:32 and the Sabres lead 49-41.
Just when MU looked poised to gain control, BU responded with a 14-2 run over a three-minute span and the Sabres were left looking at a 55-51 deficit.
MU was forced to play catch-up the rest of the way and Oliver hit a 3-pointer with 50 seconds remaining to bring the Sabres to within four at 86-82. BU (26-0) converted its free throws in the final moments to close out the game.
Junior Josh Creed scored 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field and grabbed eight rebounds. Oliver added 17 points and was 5-of-8 from beyond the arc.
Sophomore Alex Manhardt helped put with 15 points, grabbed seven rebounds and handed out six assists. In his final game in a Sabre uniform Alex Stecker scored 12 points and was 4-for-4 at the charity stripe.
Sophomore Reggie Roemer dropped 12 points and hauled in three rebounds.
Tahron Harvey scored 21 points to lead BU.
The Eagles advance to the NACC tournament championship game and will meet No. 6 seed MSOE.
Marian completes its season with a 14-13 record.
MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Junior Josh Creed scored 16 points and hauled in 10 rebounds as the No. 5 seeded Marian men's basketball team topped No. 4 Wisconsin Lutheran 71-65 in the first round of the 2015-16 Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Men's Basketball Tournament.
WLC made a late charge to cut the deficit to three points, but Creed who has been a clutch free-throw shooter all year went to the line and hit his free throws in the final minute to secure the win.
MU started fast and lead throughout the contest. Senior Carvell Oliver hit three 3-pointers in the initial five minutes and the Sabres opened up a 22-8 first-half lead.
The Blue and White defense kept the Warriors off balance. WLC, known for their exceptional play in the post struggled to find space in front of the basket and were forced to shoot jump shots – and they didn't fall. WLC shot 29.7 percent (19-of-64) from the field and converted only three 3-pointers on the evening.
From start to finish the Sabres ran a balanced offensive attack and had their way in front of the rim. MU scored 42 points in the paint and outrebounded WLC 42-38 and shot 45.9 percent (28-of-61) from the field.
Sophomore Alex Manhardt, senior Alex Stecker and Oliver each scored 12 points. Oliver and Manhardt also grabbed nine rebounds apiece.
Sophomore Reggie Roemer scored nine points and handed out five assists.
Collin Kennedy scored 19 points to lead WLC (13-13).
MU (14-12) travels to No. 1 seed and nationally-ranked Benedictine (25-0) Friday evening. Tip is set for 7 p.m.
MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Marian shot a sterling 46 percent (23-of-50) from the field and topped MSOE 67-62 Wednesday evening at the Kern Center.
The first half consisted of seven lead changes and five ties, but the Sabres quickly grabbed control in the second half. Senior Connor Morovits hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the opening minute and the Sabres lead 34-30.
MU lead by 11 points at the halfway mark in the second half, but with one minute remaining in regulation MSOE cut its deficit to within four at 63-59. However, senior Alex Stecker hit jumper and junior Josh Creed converted a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to close out the contest.
Sophomore Alex Manhardt scored 16 points and hauled in nine rebounds, both team highs. He also was 6-for-6 at the free-throw line.
Stecker helped out with 13 points and handed out five assists.
Creed dropped 12 points and collected seven rebounds.
As a team the Sabres grabbed 38 rebounds and scored 30 points in the paint.
Austin Stueck scored 29 points to lead MSOE (12-12, 9-10 NACC).
MU (13-12, 10-10 NACC) will wait until Saturday to see if it qualified for the NACC tournament.