AUGUSTA, Ga. – Augusta State picked up three more spots Tuesday in the NABC Coaches poll, climbing to No. 12 in the fifth poll of the 2012-13 season.
The Jaguars, who were ranked 15th last week, are off to a 6-0 start following Monday's 75-73 Peach Belt Conference victory over Montevallo. Sophomore forward Devon Wright-Nelson, a preseason All-Peach Belt Conference selection, registered his best effort of the season with 21 points and 12 rebounds for his first double-double.
The appearance in the national rankings marked the 68th time the Jags have been ranked -- all under head coach Dip Metress -- among the country's top 25 teams since the 2006-07 season.
From 2007-2011, ASU appeared in every national poll for four straight seasons. Overall, the Jags have cracked the top 20 65 times, the top 10 43 times and were ranked among the top five on 27 occasions.
ASU will play host to Lincoln Memorial on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 6:00 p.m., in downtown Augusta at James Brown Arena. The contest, billed as "Jam The JBA", will mark the first time ASU has played in the venue (formerly the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center) since Dec. 16, 1995, when the Jags defeated Paine College 80-64 in the City Classic.
The change in venue was precipitated by ASU hosting its final graduation as Augusta State University in Christenberry Fieldhouse on Thursday, Dec. 20.
Several special promotions are planned around the contest. University officials, during a halftime ceremony, will recognize outgoing Augusta-Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength – an Augusta College alum -- for his many years of service to the community.
The Jaguar Club will host pre-game and post-game receptions inside the JBA. Over 400 ASU graduates and their families will be guests of ASU Athletics that evening and will have special reserved seating. In addition, fans who donate an unwrapped gift will receive free admission (one gift per person). The Jaguar Men's Basketball team will present those gifts to patients of the Georgia Health Sciences Children's Medical Center prior to Christmas.
All general admission tickets will be available for $7 at the JBA box office. Tickets for military personnel and their families, as well as senior citizens and large groups, will be on sale for $5. Jaguar Basketball season tickets will be honored while all ASU and GHSU faculty, staff and students will be admitted free with a valid ASU or GHSU ID. Tickets can also be purchased at the Champions Box Office at the James Brown Arena and online at www.georgialinatix.com.
West Liberty retained the top spot in the final rankings for the 2012 calendar year, but weekend losses by Washburn and Southern Indiana – last week's second and seventh-ranked teams -- has altered the look of the top 10 heading into the holiday season.
In a week with light action nationwide as many institutions were in final exams, West Liberty was idle and held onto the top spot as a result. However, Washburn was bumped off by Newman – who entered the rankings for the first time ever at No. 18 – and Southern Indiana fell to Nova Southeastern, opening up the top portion of the poll for the first time this season.
NABC Coaches Poll
(as of Tuesday, Dec. 18)
Rec. Pts. Pvs.
1. West Liberty (W.Va.) Hilltoppers (13) 8-0 395 1
2. Metro State (Colo.) Roadrunners (1) 9-0 373 3
3. Alabama-Huntsville Chargers (1) 7-1 364 4
4. Bellarmine (Ky.) Knights (1) 8-0 352 5
5. Western Washington Vikings 7-0 344 6
6. Cal Poly Pomona Broncos 8-0 325 8
7. Seattle Pacific (Wash.) Falcons 8-1 298 9
8. Washburn (Kan.) Ichabods 7-1 266 2
9. Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers 6-0 257 13
10. Franklin Pierce (N.H.) Ravens 7-1 244 12
11. Indianapolis (Ind.) Greyhounds 7-0 239 14
12. AUGUSTA STATE JAGUARS 5-0 229 15
13. Assumption (Mass.) Greyhounds 8-0 183 17
14. Drury (Mo.) Panthers 7-0 172 19
15. Barton (N.C.) Bulldogs 7-1 156 16
16. Indiana (Pa.) Crimson Hawks 6-1 148 18
17. Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles 6-0 142 17
18. Newnan (Kan.) Jets 9-0 121 NR
19. St. Cloud State (Minn.) Huskies 7-1 109 11
20. Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.) Railsplitters 7-1 95 20
21. Minnesota State Mavericks 8-1 85 21
22. Tampa (Fla.) Spartans 8-0 81 22
23. Winston-Salem (N.C.) State Rams 7-2 52 23
24. Findlay (Ohio) Oilers 6-2 36 24
25. Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves 8-2 33 25
Dropped out: Northwest Missouri State (10)
Others receiving votes: Adams State (Colo.) 31, Florida Southern 22, Cal State-San Bernardino 8, West Texas A&M 6, Fort Lewis (Colo.) 4, Grand Canyon (Ariz.) 4, Michigan Tech 4, Northwest Missouri State 4, North Alabama 3, Augustana (S.D.) 2, Harding (Ark.) 2, Minnesota State-Moorhead 2, Shepherd (W.Va.) 2, Rollins (Fla.) 1, Winona State (Minn.) 1
*Records are through games of Sunday, Dec. 16