KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Bethel College men’s basketball team hit the NAIA Top 25 for the first time since the 2003-04 season, getting ranked 22nd on the latest poll.

The Threshers are off to a 9-1 start, 4-0 in Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference play.

"This is exciting for our program and the growth that we have had over the last couple of years," Bethel coach Jayson Artaz said. "It just shows how much work and buy-in our players have had this year. I'm happy for those players to see some early rewards. Now we have to continue to work harder than ever before to show that we are deserving of the ranking."

Artaz was a member of the last BC team that was ranked, a team that went on to finish 17-12. The Threshers were ranked as high as 15th that season after a 7-1 start.

The sole loss for the Threshers is to NAIA Division I Oklahoma City University at the Texas Wesleyan Classic in Fort Worth.

Bethel opened conference play with a 78-73 win over then 14th-ranked Southwestern, followed by wins over Saint Mary, Sterling and rival Tabor.

Bethel plays an exhibition at 8 p.m. Saturday at NCAA Division II Northwestern Oklahoma State, followed by conference play at 8 p.m. Monday at Ottawa.

Ottawa, 8-0, is the highest ranking KCAC team at no. 12. Kansas Wesleyan and Oklahoma Wesleyan both received votes.

Oregon Tech is the top-ranked team at 9-0, followed by Morningside and Indiana Wesleyan.

After 22 automatic bids for conference champions and conference tournament champions are awarded, the final poll is used to determine at-large bids to the NAIA Division II National Tournament.

The full rankings are listed below:


1;2;Oregon Tech [10];9-0;311

2;4;Morningside (Iowa) [1];7-0;302

3;4;Indiana Wesleyan [1];7-1;293

4;8;Mt. Vernon Naz. (Ohio);9-0;281

5;3;College of Idaho;6-2;267

6;6;Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.);5-0;260

7;1;Spring Arbor (Mich.);5-2;252

8;11;Olivet Naz. (Ill.);8-1;236

9;9;Madonna (Mich.);7-2;212

10;15;Marian (Ind.);5-1;210

11;RV;Wash.Adventist (Md.);6-1;207

12;NR;OTTAWA (Kan.);8-0;201

13;RV;Ave Maria (Fla.);7-0;188

14;11;Cornerstone (Mich.);7-2;173

15;24;Saint Francis (Ind.);10-0;172

16;10;IU Kokomo (Ind.);7-2;168

17;18;Southern Oregon;4-2;151

18;21;Warner (Fla.);8-1;143

19;RV;Bethel (Ind.);8-0;137

20;NR;St. Ambrose (Iowa);7-1;108

21;17;Union (Ky.);5-3;102

22;NR;BETHEL (Kan.);9-1;97

23;25;Dordt (Iowa);6-3;91

24;RV;Corban (Ore.);6-3;75

25;NR;Saint Xavier (Ill.);7-1;68

Dropped Out: OKLAHOMA WESLEYAN, Indiana East, Bellevue (Neb.).

Receiving Votes: Michigan-Dearborn 56, Indiana Southeast 44, Northwestern (Iowa) 43, Antelope Valley (Calif.) 31, KANSAS WESLEYAN 16, OKLAHOMA WESLEYAN 13, Cal Maritime 12, Eastern Oregon 11, Southeastern (Fla.) 8, Holy Cross (Ind.) 7, Mount Marty (S.D.) 5, Montreat (N.C.) 5, Lourdes (Ohio) 4, Indiana East 3.



1;1;Concordia (Neb.) [12];7-0

2;2;Southeastern (Fla.);6-2

3;6;Marian (Ind.);7-1

4;3;Col. of the Ozarks (Mo.);6-2

5;5;Dordt (Iowa);9-1

6;16;Hastings (Neb.);7-0

7;4;Indiana Tech;6-1

8;9;St. Francis (Ill.);6-2

8;19;Morningside (Iowa);6-2

10;13;Saint Francis (Ind.);7-1

11;11;Northwestern (Iowa);7-1

12;17;Saint Xavier (Ill.);7-1

13;7;Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.);5-2

14;10;Antelope Val. (Calif.);5-2

15;15;Taylor (Ind.);8-0


17;8;Eastern Oregon;5-3

18;20;Bryan (Tenn.);8-0

19;24;Olivet Naz. (Ill.);8-1

20;23;Mayville St. (N.D.);6-1

21;NR;Huntington (Ind.);8-1

22;NR;Siena Heights (Mich.);6-0

23;14;Corban (Ore.);4-3

24;NR;IU-South Bend (Ind.);9-1


Receiving Votes: Jamestown (N.D.) 48, Lawrence Tech (Mich.) 39, Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) 39, Indiana Wesleyan 32, Bellevue (Neb.) 26, Southern Oregon 17, WVU Tech 13, Reinhardt (Ga.) 8, Aquinas (Mich.) 5, Mount Vernon Nazarene 4.