Raider men receiving votes in NAIA poll

January 12, 2022 12:23pm

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After posting a 4-1 record since the last national polls on December 15, the Northwestern College men’s basketball team (14-5, 6-3 GPAC) is back to receiving votes in the fourth poll of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Coaches’ Poll, the national office announced this morning.

The Raiders are fresh off their victory over the No. 12-ranked Jimmies of Jamestown on Friday, January 7 inside the Bultman Center (74-61). Northwestern also picked up victories over Viterbo (Wis.) (80-66), Dakota Wesleyan (69-58), and Hastings (81-68).

The defending Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) and NAIA Player of the Week Alex Van Kalsbeek (So., Orange City, Iowa/MOC-Floyd Valley) paces the Raider offense, leading the team in points per game (22.4), rebounds per game (8.9), and field goal percentage (65.6%). Trent Hilbrands (Sr., Remsen, Iowa/Le Mars Community) is averaging 17.3 points per contest, while shooting 38.3% from behind the 3-point line.

Nationally, the Raiders are sixth in the nation in free throw percentage as a team at 77.4, as three Raiders are shooting over 80% from the charity strike (minimum 20 attempts) – Noah Slagter (Sr., Willmar, Minn./Willmar) at 95.0%, Conner Geddes (Fr., Sioux Falls, S.D./Harrisburg) at 83.3%, and Matt Onken (R-So., Marshall, Minn./Marshall) at 80.0%.

Northwestern also ranks top-20 nationally in three other categories including field goal percentage (11th, 50.6%), turnovers per game (11th, 9.6), and defensive rebounds per game (18th, 29.9).

Despite the loss to the Raiders, Jamestown (16-3, 6-3 GPAC) slid up one spot to No. 11 and remain the highest-ranked GPAC team in this installment of the national rankings. The Concordia (Neb.) Bulldogs (15-4, 8-3 GPAC) are the only other GPAC team receiving recognition in this poll, checking in at No. 25.

GPAC in the polls:

No. 11 Jamestown Jimmies (16-3, 6-3 GPAC)

No. 25 Concordia (Neb.) Bulldogs (15-4, 8-3 GPAC)

RV(14) Northwestern Red Raiders (14-5, 6-3 GPAC)