JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – For the first time since the opening week of January in the 2002-03 season, Carson-Newman is receiving votes in the National Association of Basketball Coaches poll.
Chuck Benson's Eagles (11-2, 4-1 SAC) received six votes in the latest poll. That places them 36th in the national standings between King (Tenn.) and Augusta State (Ga.).
Carson-Newman has won three in a row, including a 93-70 win over Mars Hill Wednesday night, and six of the last seven. During that seven game span, the Eagles have cracked 90 points four times.
The Eagles lead the South Atlantic Conference in field goal percentage (51.1 percent), assists (17.0) and fewest fouls called per game (15.2). Carson-Newman's second in the league in scoring (83.1), three point percentage (38.9) and turnovers forced per game (17.8).
The last time Carson-Newman was ranked was the opening poll for the 2002-03 season. Carson-Newman was coming off a first round loss to Shaw in the opening round of the NCAA tournament and started the 02-03 season ranked 11th. But an 8-3 start to the season wasn't good enough to keep the Eagles in the top 25 and they fell out in the first week of January before falling out of the receiving votes category the following week.
The Eagles have spent six weeks total ranked in Division II polls. Carson-Newman finished the 2001-2002 year ranked 18th, rising five spots from the previous week.
One has to go back to the mid 1960s to find the final three Carson-Newman teams ranked in the Division II top 25, or as was the case at that time, the top 10.
Carson-Newman spent three weeks in the top 10 from January 7-21 in 1965.
Only Lincoln Memorial (18th) is ranked higher than C-N among SAC competition in the latest NABC poll.
The Eagles face Anderson, who sits atop the league standings at 5-0, Saturday on the road. Coverage for the contest starts at approximately 3:45 p.m. on the Coca-Cola Eagle Sports Network and online at cneagles.com with the Farm Bureau Countdown to Tipoff on ESPN Radio 106.3 The Zone (WPFT-FM, Sevierville).