September 9th, 2011

Sporting News Tabs Knights As Number One

Staff Report

Sporting News Tabs Knights As Number One
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Defending champs are named preseason No. 1 by magazine

Repeating as National Champions is never an easy feat in collegiate athletics, but that is exactly what Sporting New is predicting for the Bellarmine University men's basketball team as they are ranked No. 1 in the country in the magazine's preseason poll. 

Sporting News also tabs guards Braydon Hobbs and Jeremy Kendle as 1st team All-Americans. Kendle led the Knights in scoring last season averaging 16.9 points and was named Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year. Hobbs was the director of an offense that led the nation in field goal percentage, while averaging 12.3 points and 6.5 assists per game. 

Writer Chuck Mistovich likes Bellarmine's veteran depth in the form of Chris Dowe and Luke Sprague and goes on to add that incoming transfers Richie Phares and Jelani Johnson, “could start for any Division II team in the country.” 

Lincoln Memorial checks in at No. 2 in the poll followed by West Liberty, Alabama-Huntsville, and BYU-Hawaii, who Bellarmine defeated in the national championship game. Benedict comes in at sixth place with Missouri Southern State, Augustana, Metropolitan State, and UMass-Lowell round out the top 10 rankings. 

Bellarmine will get plenty of challenges this season as Drury, Grand Valley State, and Kentucky Wesleyan were all on Sporting News' list of teams to watch. The Knights will also face St. Catharine's College, who is ranked 9th in Sporting News' preseason NAIA poll. 

Bellarmine will open their exhibition season on Oct. 29th when they travel to Durham, N.C. to take on Duke University.


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