West Liberty Basketball With National Respect

Fresh off the heels of its first-ever Atlantic Region championship and a berth in the national semifinals, the West Liberty men’s basketball team is ranked No. 3 in the NCAA Division II section of the 2011-12 Sporting News College Basketball Preview magazine.

In addition to the Hilltoppers earning the high preseason ranking, WLU sophomore guard Cedric Harris was one of three WVIAC student-athletes to garner honorable mention Preseason All-America accolades. Pitt-Johnstown senior center Patrick Grubbs and Fairmont State junior guard Isaac Thornton also garnered Preseason All-America honors from the magazine.

Harris accounted for nearly 20 points a game as the 2009 Freshman of the Year at Wheeling Jesuit. Grubbs dropped in 18.4 points a game and grabbed 8.5 rebounds a night a season ago while shooting 67.5 percent from the floor. Thornton connected for 19.8 points per game and was second on the team with 73 assists.

Bellarmine was selected as the preseason No. 1 team while Lincoln Memorial was No. 2 in the poll.

Sporting News NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Preseason Top 10
1. Bellarmine (KY)
2. Lincoln Memorial (TN)
3. West Liberty (WV)
4. Alabama-Huntsville
5. BYU-Hawaii
6. Benedict (SC)
7. Missouri Southern
8. Augustana (SD)
9. Metro State (CO)
10. UMass-Lowell

Sporting News Preseason All-America Team
First Team
Phillip Brown (Georgia Southwestern)
Jet Chang (BYU-Hawaii)
Braydon Hobbs (Bellarmine)
Jeremy Kendle (Bellarmine)
Josh Magette (Alabama-Huntsville)

Second Team
Marcus Goode (Benedict)
Desmond Johnson (Lincoln Memorial)
Trevin Parks (Johnson C. Smith)
Taylor Rohde (Alaska-Anchorage)
Cody Schilling (Augustana, SD)

Honorable Mention
Jason Adams (Missouri Southern)
Daniel Bailey (Queens, NC)
Stefan Bonneau (C.W. Post)
Shammel Brackett (UNC Pembroke)
Alvin Brown (USC Aiken)
Zane Campbell (Alabama-Huntsville)
Kyle Caiola (Findlay)
Xavier Collier (Benedict)
Dan Comas (Chestnut Hill)
Jarrell Douglass (Limestone)
Brent Eaton (Hillsdale)
Brent Evans (Queens, NC)
Reggie Evans (Metro State)
Dwayne Fells (Cal Poly Pomona)
Gerald Fulton (Missouri-St. Louis)
Patrick Grubbs (Pitt-Johnstown)
Rob Gutierrez (St. Rose)
Ali Haidar (Michigan Tech)
Alex Hall (Drury)
Trevon Hamlet (Southern Connecticut)
Ahmad Harris (Bloomfield)
Cedric Harris (West Liberty)
Greg Hayes (Mount Olive)
Mike Hollingsworth (Wayne State, MI)
Randy Hunter (Humboldt State)
Travis Hyman (Bowie State)
Thomas Manzano (New Mexico Highlands)
Cameron McCaffrey (Augustana)
Adrian Moss (Indianapolis)
Andy Poling (Seattle Pacific)
Da’Ron Sims (West Georgia)
Ashton Smith (Indiana, PA)
Derek Staton (Mount Olive)
Isaac Thornton (Fairmont State)
Liki Turner (Francis Marion)
Odell Turner (Wingate)
Clayton Vette (Winona State)
Anthony Young (Kentucky Wesleyan)





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