Vikings ranked No.9 in The Sporting News Preseason Poll

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western washington_university_logo

Paul Madison

September 20, 2013, Bellingham, WA (ISN) – Having posted 31 wins in each of the last two seasons, the Western Washington University men’s basketball team is ranked No.9 in The Sporting News Preseason NCAA Division II Top 10 ranking for 2013-14.

The Vikings, who are looking to become the first team since 1994 to win three straight West Regional championships, won the national title in 2011-12 with a 31-5 record and reached the national semifinals in 2012-13 with a 31-3 ledger.

Two starters return for second-year coach Tony Dominguez, who was WWU’s top assistant the previous 17 seasons. They are 6-foot-3 guard Richard Woodworth (Bellevue/Newport), who averaged 11.1 points and was named Most Outstanding Player at the West Regional, and 6-9 senior center Austin Bragg (Longview/Mark Morris), who averaged 9.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and blocked 43 shots.

Another top returnee for the Vikings is 6-7 junior Anye Turner (Olympia/Black Hills).

Seattle Pacific, which has lost to WWU in each of the last two regional championship games, is ranked No.1.

Last year’s national runner-up Metro State is second, followed by Kentucky Wesleyan, Bellarmine, Minnesota State and West Liberty. Defending champion Drury is seventh, Midwestern State is eighth and New Haven is 10th.

THE SPORTING NEWS PRESEASON TOP 10

(NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball)

1, Seattle Pacific

2, Metro State (Colo.)

3, Kentucky Wesleyan

4, Bellarmine (Ky.)

5, Minnesota State

6, West Liberty (W.V.)

7, Drury (Mo.)

8, Midwestern State (Texas)

9, Western Washington

10, New Haven (Conn.)

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