Dave’s Top 25 Ballot (’22-’23) – Week 2

Julianne Sitch led the UChicago men’s soccer team to it’s first-ever national title. In the process, Sitch became the first-ever woman to lead a men’s soccer team to a collegiate national title. (Courtesy: Dave Hilbert, D3photography.com)

Welcome back to my D3hoops.com Top 25 ballot blogs. I apologize for not getting my Week 1 ballot out as expected. The combination of basketball games (three) and Division III Men’s Soccer Championships coupled with some personal distractions caused this to be put on the back burner. I am hoping to make up at least by showing you my ballots so far in this blog. I will try and provide some comments about some of the teams, though not all (especially to keep these blogs shorter).

Please remember I am just one voter of 25 in this poll and I have never pretended to be one who is absolutely right on these nor do I pretend I am not wrong.

First, here is a reminder at my preseason ballot and a look at how I voted in Week 1 (Nov. 28):

Rank Preseason Week 1 +/-
 1. Randolph-Macon Christopher Newport +2
 2. Mary Hardin-Baylor Mount Union +3
 3. Christopher Newport St. Joseph’s (Conn.) +5
 4. UW-Oshkosh Case Western Reserve +2
 5. Mount Union Johns Hopkins +9
 6. Case Western Reserve UW-La Crosse UR
 7. Middlebury Oswego +9
 8. St. Joseph’s (Conn.) Randolph-Macon -7
 9. Oswego Keene State UR
10. Pomona-Pitzer Williams UR
11. Emory Middlebury -4
12. Trinity (Texas) Emory -1
13. Dubuque Rochester UR
14. Johns Hopkins Claremont-Mudd-Scripps UR
15. WPI Mary Hardin-Baylor -13
16. Hardin-Simmons Calvin UR
17. Rowan Mary Washington UR
18. Wesleyan Nazareth UR
19. Heidelberg WPI -4
20. Babson Hope UR
21. WashU Guilford UR
22. Stockton Swarthmore UR
23. Marietta UW-Oshkosh -19
24. St. John’s WashU -3
25. Nichols Stockton -3

Fell off the Preseaon ballot: Pomona-Pitzer, Trinity (TX), Dubuque, Hardin-Simmons, Rowan, Wesleyan, Heidelberg, Babson, Marietta, St. John’s, Nichols

Note: For both the preseason and Week 1 ballots, I did not refer back to how I had previously voted. Neither the end of last season or my preseason ballot. No notes, eye on positions, nothing. I certainly remembered a few items like Randolph-Macon had been my top selection, but nothing more significant.

That said, this week I went back to my more normal voting methods. I write down my previous ballot, then write down notes on results alongside each team, write additional note the print out receive, and then make decisions from there and finish my new ballot along side the old. I went back to it mainly because I noticed prior to my Week 2 ballot I had lost track of a couple of teams between Preseason and Week 1 that I would have spotted had the regular system been in place. So apologies to Dubuque, especially. They fell out of my ballot on Week 1 for no really good reasons, at the time. (I didn’t just put them back this week, the loss to Central gave me pause.)

Now to Week 2’s ballot. I may comment on a few of them:

Jahn Hines is leading CNU in scoring, but the Captains have a lot of weapons that make them the best team in DIII.

1 – Christopher Newport (unchanged)

2 – St. Joseph’s (Conn.) (up 1)

3 – Mount Union (down 1)

4 – Cast Western Reserve (unchanged)

5 – UW-La Crosse (up 1)

6 – Keene State (up 3)

7 – Johns Hopkins (down 2)

8 – Randolph-Macon (unchanged)

Brandon Roughley and the William Ephs are undefeated through the first-third of their season. (I’m shamelessly getting a pic of Roughley in as he’s a fellow Sarum Knight.)

9 – Williams (up 1)
I am not going to lie, I’m nervous about the Ephs. Their schedule is nothing to crow about, but at least they haven’t taken an early season loss that leaves everyone scratching their heads. The win over RPI stood out and gave me some confidence, though in the Top 10 feels too high. But as always, gaps develop on ballots and teams have to fill slots one wouldn’t have expected.

10 – Rochester (up 3)

11 – Emory (up 1)

12 – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (up 2)

13 – Middlebury (down 2)

Oswego has lost two of their tougher games so far this season – that could be a concern.

14 – Oswego (down 7)
I think the Lakers are going to be a very good team and likely will win the SUNYAC, but they have already stumbled in a couple big tests. Losing to Nazareth (likely one of the top three teams in the region) is one thing and losing to Brockport isn’t a shocking result … but the loss to Brockport was at home and the offense barely scored xx. It is a bit concerning and I likely am holding on to Oswego a bit more than I should – and I likey should have had them behind Nazareth at this point.

15 – Mary Washington (up 2)

16 – Calvin (unchanged)

17 – Nazareth (up 1)

Heidelberg’s win over Mount Union put them back on the ballot. (Courtesy: Alexis Calhoun/Heidelberg Athletics)

18 – Heidelberg (unranked)
I’ve been a bit yo-yo with the Student Princes. Part of that is similar to what happened with Dubuque and my process with my Preseason and Week 1 ballots, but the other was I may have overreacted to the UWW loss and the tight outcome against Bluffton. I still think Heidelberg will be part of the absolute battle atop the OAC.

19 – Swarthmore (up 3)

20 – Guilford (up 1)

Muhlenberg’s only loss this season is an overtime defeat to Swarthmore. (Courtesy: Muhlenberg Athletics)

21 – Muhlenberg (unranked)
Going into the season, I had my eyes on Gettysburg as being a threat to the top two in the conference (and I bought in to that too much) – I should have remembered some notes I left myself at the end of last season. The Mules (or is it Muhls?) have been a sneaky threat for a few seasons now and had more weapons going into this season than I remembered. Muhlenberg beating Johns Hopkins (first loss other than to Swarthmore in several years) was a bit surprising considering how JHU has been playing, but not when one remembers how much of a threat Kevin Hopkins’s squad really is.

22 – Wheaton (Ill.) (unranked)
I finally got a CCIW team on my ballot. I like what the Thunder have on paper, I just for some reason always want to see what happens ahead of them. I finally told myself to stop waiting.

23 – UW-Oshkosh (unchanged)

24 – Catholic (unranked)
I could have gone a bunch of different directions looking for the final team to add to my ballot. I felt stuck and dove into several corners looking for what I was missing .., and ultimately the Cardinals stood out.

DJ Campbell is leading Stockton in scoring (21.9 ppg) and rebounding (5.7 rpg) while taking twice as many shots as anyone else. (Courtesy: Stockton Athletics)

25 – Stockton (unchanged)
I am unsure if the Ospreys are a Top 25 team right now. I’ve left them on my ballot knowing they are down a few starters and other key guys haven’t been a full strength. My concern is I don’t think Stockton is the best of the conference (Rowan beat them good already this season; but has stumbled themselves) and I don’t know if the NJAC will do more than beat the heck out of themselves. Unsure when the next game will be to answer questions (other than a loss).

Fell off Week 2 ballot:

Mary Hardin-Baylor (previously 15)
Once again the Crusaders have had a turbulent start to the season. I loved that they went to the West Coast and got two quality wins with one interesting loss. However, a month off followed and that resulted in stubbing their toes again dropping the next game to Concordia-Texas. We will have to wait a bit longer to see if UMHB is going to be what we expected this season, but any at-large back-up plan is already in jeopardy.

WPI is off my ballot though is still a team I think we will still be talking about in March. (Courtesy: WPI Athletics)

WPI (previously 19)
I may be heavy-handed here with WPI, but I’ve been unnerved since the first game of the season (yes, I know it was a midnight game). Their schedule hasn’t been great other than their game against Hamilton which they loss. I think I’m going to wait and see … on a team, again, I was high on to start.

Hope (previously 20)
The Dutch have had a good start to the season. A loss to UW-Oshkosh isn’t bad and really the loss to Hanover isn’t too bad, either. However, when I’m looking for reasons to get other teams that I think deserve to be on my ballot I start to nit-pick for reasons to remove teams. Two-losses at this point along with a loss to the Panthers (which I don’t think is a Top 25 team) was my reasoning this week.

WashU (previously 24)
Like others, I think the Bear are going to be a very good team this season, but when looking for reasons to get other teams on the ballot kinks are magnified. A one-point win (following a loss) to Webster, a one-point win over 2-5 Augustana, and then the loss to Pomona-Pitzer (who I thought was going to be good but is 5-4 right now).

Again, I have never said I think I know who are the best teams, the Top 25 order, etc. The one theme over the last decade (or more) is how much more difficult it is to narrow things down each ballot. There are so many teams that have legit points and arguments while also having their own flaws. There is a reason there are 25 voters, and arguably have even more, for this poll – there needs to be that many opinions to truly suss out who the best are in Division III.


The Scoop on D3 Women’s Hoops: November 26, 2022: Back in action…

Took a couple of days off for the Thanksgiving holiday but I’m back, and so is a full slate of Saturday D3 hoops action! As a Top 25 voter, I routinely keep a list of games I want to pay especially close attention to. Today’s list is especially long, because so many teams are playing in pivotal games, especially as we prepare for the first in-season poll of the year. That’s good news for you D3 women’s basketball fans, because you’ll be entertained from midday until the evening. Look no further than the Game of the Day, which falls at the convenient time of 5 pm EST, 4 pm CST.

#18 Hardin-Simmons @ #5 Trinity

The Tigers made the trip out to Abilene on Tuesday of this week, and now it is time for HSU to return the favor, traveling southeast to the home of the Alamo for what should be an intriguing matchup. Trinity won the first meeting between the ranked opponents, 76-69, defending HSU’s three-point shooting with remarkable success. But I expect this one will be a little different, not necessarily in who emerges as the victor, but in how the matchup is assessed. Facing the same team twice in a week is something more common in baseball or softball, where conferences conclude the season with double-elimination tournaments. With Tuesday’s matchup fresh in their minds, I am interested to see what each team took away, and what they will be looking to tweak or improve. A win for Trinity could easily put the Tigers in contention for the #4 spot in next week’s Top 25, considering HSU is both a Top 20 team and the ASC preseason favorite. A win for HSU would be a huge SOS boost for the Cowgirls, who play in a conference with at least four real contenders. Lots on the line this afternoon in San Antonio.

Keep an eye on…

  • Calvin (4-0) @ #4 UW-Whitewater (5-0), 5 pm EST
  • WashU (3-0) @ Rose-Hulman (2-0), 4 pm EST
  • Illinois Wesleyan (3-2) @ DePauw (2-2), 2 pm EST
  • Wilmington (4-0) @ #2 Transylvania (2-0), 3 pm EST
  • Ohio Northern (3-1) @ #8 Trine (3-1), 3 pm EST


  • Not a ton of good games on the slate yesterday, but I did tune into a good portion of #24 Puget Sound’s home game against Chapman. After losing by 6 to Wheaton a week ago, I have some questions about how Puget Sound stacks up against the best in the nation. But they looked sharp in yesterday’s game, utilizing full-court pressure and traps in the backcourt well. I was also impressed by how they used their height around the rim, patiently working the ball into the post on plays when they were unable to push the ball up the floor.
  • #13 UW-Eau Claire had no trouble getting past Northland in an 83-41 win. The Blugolds showed just how efficient their offense was in the opening half, outscoring Northland 57-14. UWEC continues to impress me, whether it be playing against the #1 team in the nation or a winless team from the UMAC. Jessie Ruden had 18 pts on 7-of-10 shooting in the victory.
  • One of the day’s best contests came late, as Claremont-Mudd-Scripps hosted Augsburg. CMS came out strong, and I was surprised at the level at which the Athenas were playing, until the fourth quarter, when Augsburg just seemed to flip a switch. Augsburg outscored CMS 16-6 in that final quarter, upping the intensity on both ends of the floor, to win 65-61. That moves them to 3-1, though I’ll need to see a more convincing performance to consider Augsburg a legitimate contender on a more national level.

Not a ton of other notes for you as I write this late Friday night. But teams outside of the preseason Top 25 that I’d be keeping an eye on would be WashU (has a notable win over #14 Millikin), UW-La Crosse (7-0 to start the season), Washington & Jefferson (5-1, 3-0 to start PAC play), and Augustana (if they remain consistent offensively, they could be a contender in a very deep CCIW). That’s all for today. Enjoy your weekend! And be sure to subscribe on Substack if you haven’t already, or you can also find this blog each morning right here on the Daily Dose.

The Scoop on D3 Women’s Hoops: November 23, 2022: Trinity’s defense, the ARC, and scoring 1 point in the first half?!?

Good morning! Hope you are enjoying the holiday week. I’m writing this after writing my “thoughts” section on yesterday’s games…I’ll tell you, it’s a long one today. But that’s because yesterday’s slate had so many great contests worth mentioning, and it was the last full slate we’ll get until Saturday. There are a couple of teams in action today, so here’s a quick look at what you should be watching on the last day of college hoops before Thanksgiving…

Game of the Day: Colby @ #3 NYU, 7 pm EST

I’ll be honest, there are only 3 games between D-III programs today…but don’t overlook this one. Colby is off to a 3-0 start, but hasn’t faced anyone to the caliber of NYU. NYU hasn’t been challenged all that much either, with an 11-point win over Haverford being its closest result. This will be a good chance to see what NYU is putting together, especially with a lot of reliable defenders off the bench, who have added to the depth in these first four games of the season. I’m not sure how close it will end up being, but it’ll be worth a few minutes of your time to tune in and see what the nation’s #3 team can do in a contest of two unbeatens.

Thoughts from yesterday…

  • The highly-anticipated Top 25 showdown between #5 Trinity and #18 Hardin-Simmons in Abilene lived up to the expectations, with Trinity pulling out a 76-69 win on HSU’s home court. It was 51-50 heading into the fourth quarter, with the Tigers pulling away late, in large part due to their exceptional defense. HSU tends to beat teams by its remarkable accuracy from beyond the three-point arc, but on this night, the Cowgirls struggled to get open looks, and it seemed to be the biggest difference-maker in the result. Parris Parmer, HSU’s remarkable three-point sharpshooter, was 0-for-6 from long-range, and as a team HSU shot just 17.9%. Again, that seemed to be more a credit to Trinity’s defense, than a lapse of HSU’s offense, though I’d probably say that had something to do with it as well.
  • Another point on this game above…It rarely happens, even in conference play, but as I mentioned yesterday, these two teams will play again on Saturday, this time in San Antonio. Playing the same team twice within a span of five days in an interesting move by both coaching staffs, as each seeks to correct the mistakes made in the first meeting. We could see a very different game play out on Saturday afternoon.
  • Hamilton College moved to 2-1 in an impressive 70-64 win over #17 St. John Fisher. I can say with some degree of certainty that SJF won’t be #17 next week when the Top 25 is released, but for Hamilton to go on the road and pick up a win over a nationally-ranked team that returns three starters is huge. Perhaps the NESCAC will be even deeper than I anticipated it being this season. The most notable part of Hamilton’s win came in the 23-point fourth quarter, as they actually trailed by three entering the final 10 minutes.
  • Since the four-point loss to Amherst, #16 Springfield has looked pretty good. I saw them race out to a 20-9 lead in the first quarter against a quality Williams team yesterday. Williams stayed in it, despite the early deficit, but Springfield continued to make shots on the offensive end. The Pride ended up shooting 40%. Sam Hourihan is going to be a really big piece of that offense, as she looked to be in her element yesterday, with 23 points and nine rebounds.
  • In a battle of unbeatens, Mary Washington pulled out a convincing 70-58 win over Washington & Lee. On first glance, it doesn’t appear to be all that competitive of game, but the fact is, this one went into overtime! But Mary Washington’s defense stepped up in a huge way, holding W&L to just two points in the extra period. More than the 14 points in overtime, it was the fact that the Eagles held a good offense that had scored 56 in regulation to such as low percentage with the game on the line. The Coast-to-Coast programs are hard to evaluate at times (though Mary Washington has more scheduling options than say, UCSC), but they’ll get another good test on Dec. 10, when playing Catholic on the road. Marymount, who they’ll play on Dec. 3, is also off to a good start, at 6-1.
  • NJCU opened its D-III schedule in a 66-48 win over Montclair State, and after watching them play, I’m even more certain that they’ll be the best in the NJAC. They shoot the ball with such efficiency, and interestingly enough, Damaris Rodriguez wasn’t their leading scorer; Laney Fox was, with 21. Rodriguez had 12, but it is good to see other players starting to step up around her.
  • Wartburg and Dubuque kicked off ARC play in a very exciting duel, with the game going into overtime before Wartburg pulled out a 78-71 win. Wartburg will be one I’m keeping an eye on. I didn’t like the performances against UW-Eau Claire or UW-Oshkosh, though I would rate both losses lower considering how much I value those two WIAC programs. Even UWO, with its young talent, is going to be a force in the WIAC, in my opinion. Wartburg will get Scranton and Trine back-to-back just before Christmas, which will be two good measuring sticks for where the Knights stand.
  • Happened to see the Emory halftime score and honestly thought it was a glitch in the system, because it showed Emory leading Agnes Scott 42-1 at halftime. But a look at the box score proved I was incorrect…Emory’s defense was just that good yesterday. I don’t care who you’re playing…if you hold any team to just a single point in 20 minutes, that deserves a bit of recognition.
  • To wrap up what is becoming a long list of thoughts on yesterday’s action. Luther pulled out a 2-point win over Coe, 50-48. The ARC is going to be really fun to watch, between Wartburg, Coe, Luther, and maybe even Simpson, if the Storm finds its footing. This is probably Luther’s most notable win up to this point, though there’s also the win over UW-Platteville, and it didn’t come easy. Coe nearly won the game on a late three that just missed, and also had a chance at a layup, but couldn’t get it to go. Luther plays Wartburg next on Nov. 30…that will be a matchup to watch.
  • Oh, and the WBCA released its first in-season Top 25 yesterday…the top 5 is Hope, CNU, Amherst, NYU, Trinity. More on this Friday, but to look at the poll for yourself, here’s the link: https://wbca.org/recognize/polls/nov-22-2022-1

No post tomorrow…enjoy your Thanksgiving! I’ll be back with more on Friday!

The Scoop on D3 Women’s Hoops: November 22, 2022: It’s a Lone Star State showdown!

We’re back! And what a slate of games we have today in the world of D3 women’s hoops. For quite a few teams, this is their final game before Thanksgiving, so there is an eagerness to head into the holiday with a satisfying performance. I’m especially excited because we have a Top 25 matchup for the first time what feels like a week, being played right here in my home state of Texas. These are two teams I’m familiar with, and two that we could see play each other come March. Take a look…

Game of the Day: #5 Trinity @ #18 Hardin-Simmons

It doesn’t get much better than this in the Lone Star state, and the best part of it is, this is the first game in a home-and-home arrangement, with HSU making the trip to San Antonio on Saturday afternoon. We’ll get an opportunity to see these two teams battle twice in the same week, which rarely happens. This matchup is intriguing considering the fact that both are strong offensive teams, who have reliable three-point shooters and are experienced enough to stay calm under pressure. HSU’s fast-paced, three-point shooting offense will certainly challenge both the depth and stamina of Trinity. And on the other side, when Trinity works the ball into the post, the question will be if HSU has the depth at those positions to limit the short-range scoring of the Tigers. You’ll want to tune into this one. Livestream Link: https://hsuathletics.com/broadcasts

Keep an eye on…

  • Williams @ #16 Springfield, 4 pm EST
  • Case Western Reserve @ Marietta, 7 pm EST
  • Washington & Jefferson @ Westminster (Pa.), 6 pm EST
  • Washington & Lee @ Mary Washington, 6 pm EST


  • Fairly light schedule yesterday but I tuned into a couple of games and was closely tracking another. Augustana vs. Colorado College was an extremely entertaining game, with Augustana coming out of the gates with offensive firepower. There were points when the Vikings did not miss in the first half for three, four, and five possessions. It led to a 49-27 lead, and seemed like the result was already determined. I contemplated turning it off, but saw a completely different Colorado College team in the second half. 180 degrees different. The full-court press forced a number of Augustana turnovers, though it took some time for the Tigers to begin cashing those takeaways into points on the other end. CC slowly chipped away at the lead, cutting it four midway through the fourth, but Augustana finally found enough offense to pull away for the victory. Certainly one of those “tale of two halves” kind of games, but my biggest takeaways were: Augustana has a ton of scorers if they’re all on the same page, and CC’s full-court press is one of the best I’ve seen early in this season.
  • UNE really controlled the game in an 85-52 win over Anna Maria. Caught a few minutes of that one, and I really think that UNE will compete in the Commonwealth Coast Conference this season. They’re 4-2 heading into Sunday’s matchup against #11 Tufts. Keagan Dunbar, a transfer guard from Colby College, had 20 last night, and really seems to be helping UNE on the offensive end.
  • NJCU didn’t play well against D-I Deleware St., losing 88-48, but perhaps that’s because the focus is on the Gothic Knights first D-III game of the year. They play Montclair St., who is 2-2, and I think this could be a good game, though I expect NJCU will be able to pull it out. This is one of the latest starts I’ve seen from a D-III program this season.
  • Brevard’s Olivia Miller has been playing extremely well as of late, considering she is a true freshman. She has scored in double figures in five of Brevard’s six games, averaging 14.7 PPG and shooting 55 percent from the field. She played all 40 minutes in last Friday’s 77-73 win over N.C. Wesleyan, scoring 20.

That’s all for today. Best of luck to everyone playing their final games before Thanksgiving. Hope you are enjoying this holiday week!

Also, if you can, share this blog with anyone you know in the world of D3 hoops! It’s much appreciated!

Dave’s Top 25 Ballot (’22-’23) – Preseason (Part 2)

In the previous blog on my preseason ballot I gave a brief idea of my methodology this preseason along with a look at who was in the Top 10 of my D3hoops.com Preseason Men’s Basketball Top 25. Here we will go through 11-20. A quick reminder, here are the Top 10 on my D3hoops.com Men’s Preseason Top 25 ballot:

Josiah Johnson and his Crusaders found themselves #2 on Dave’s Preseason Top 25 ballot. (D3photography.com)

1 – Randolph-Macon
2 – Mary Hardin-Baylor
3 – Christopher Newport
4 – UW-Oshkosh
5 – Mount Union
6 – Case Western Reserve
7 – Middlebury
8 – St. Joseph’s (Conn.)
9 – Oswego State
10 – Pomona-Pitzer

Reminder, the note after each team in parenthesis is where I ranked them at the end of last season – information I did not know or look-up prior to voting this season.

11 – Emory (#12)
One of the most consistent programs in the last decade has been in Atlanta. Jason Zimmerman has built a very good program not only in the deep south, but the UAA. Emory had the winningest class in program history graduate, including two starters and 60% of their points. That may seem like a lot for a near-Top 10 team. Like Middlebury, I didn’t initially expect Emory to be this high, but I needed to fill in areas with teams I initially expected to be lower. The Eagles do have their leading scorer, Logan Shanahan, back who was also second in rebounding and tops in blocks. Plus, watch out for Max Fried who gained a lot of experience and his game excelled in the final half of last season.

Trinity (TX) looked to be a beast, but they appear to not have their leading scorer back from last season … which raises questions. (Trinity Texas Athletics)

12 – Trinity (Texas) (unranked)
I spent much of last season watching the Tigers wondering when their balloon would pop. I had my own red flags placed on Trinity, but they continued to prove to not only be the best in the SCAC, but one of the best in Texas – which is saying something. Jimmy Smith has all five starters returning including multiple all-conference selections and SCAC Player of the Year Kaleb Jenkins. Trinity also has Ben Hanley returning after showing he would be a key contributor before a season-ending injury. The challenge will be they can’t fly under anyone’s radar anymore.

13 – Dubuque (unranked)
While doing the lead-up work and putting my ballot together I couldn’t get a voice in my head to stop saying “you may be the only one putting Dubuque (this high) on your ballot.” It did make me wonder if I was over-thinking things. Yes, losing a two-time conference player of the year stings, but there are still three starters back and half the team with lots of experience. I was also intrigued with some of the transfers coming in including one who played in every game for UW-Parkside last season.

Ethan Bartlett and the Blue Jays hope to keep JHU in the national conversation. (Johns Hopkins Athletics)

14 – Johns Hopkins (#21)
I debated putting JHU higher on my ballot, but I am curious how the Blue Jays adjust to losing Conor Delaney who helped shoot Johns Hopkins to a couple of Centennial championships. Hopkins has a wealth of talent back for a program that under Josh Leffler has returned to its former glory. The conference should be a tougher road this season, but JHU seems to be in the driver’s seat and Goldfarb Gymnasium is usually pretty difficult for visitors.

15 – WPI (#11)
I’m nervous on whether I’m making the right call with the Engineers. I mentioned on Bob Quillman’s Q-Cast in October that WPI is a team to watch. They had a seemingly unexpected, but great season last year and I mentioned I am expecting them to be even better. However, I then wondered if I had misread things when we got the Top 25 data. That data showed WPI graduated 35% of its offense. I still think WPI will be at the top of a competitive NEWMAC and looking to make waves, but they are 15 when I had initially thought they would be a Top 10 program.

Hardin-Simmons is out to a 1-3 start. Cowboys looked like a serious threat this season, but it may require reevaluating later in the season. (HSU Athletics)

16 – Hardin-Simmons (unranked)
Texas could be an interesting place to watch in DIII this season, especially the ASC. The Cowboys bring back a lot while losing some key pieces. However, I am more intrigued with the core group returning along with the transfer the team informed us via the Top 25 data request. They also may be a faster, more up-tempo, team than in the past and that could make Hardin-Simmons far more difficult to beat. They just must stay consistent. I thought about waiting to see more on HSU before buying in but went with a vote for the Cowboys anyway.

17 – Rowan (unranked)
The NJAC is always competitive as a lot of teams in the last few years have had coaching changes and are building strong programs. Rowan is a great example of that shift. Joe Crispin took over the program a few years ago and has seemingly re-built the Profs. Last year’s squad was pretty good but fell short a conference title. They bring back four starters, eight players who saw significant time, which adds up to most of their offense. Plus, they bring in a few DII transfers and Ryan Ems formerly of Scranton who is a large presence inside for Rowan.

Welseyan had it’s best season in program history in 2021-22. Nicky Johnson and the rest of the Cardinals could make it an even better history this season. (Wesleyan Athletics)

18 – Wesleyan (16th)
The Cardinals are coming the program’s best ever season. Yes, like many programs, Wesleyan graduated some of their talent, but they still have a wealth of experience returning. The NESCAC will not be easy (has it ever?). The bottom of the league has become more competitive and coaching changes in the last few years are starting to show results. I like Wesleyan and think they could maybe surprise while everyone is watching Williams, Middlebury, and others.

19 – Heidelburg (unranked)
The Student Princes surprised everyone last season and likely were a year ahead of expectations. Four starters and more than three-quarters of their scoring returns and they will need all the experience they can muster. The OAC will be yet another battle at the top with half the conference capable of winning the title.

Sophomore Nate Amado is averaging 25 ppg for Babson to start the season.

20 – Babson (unranked)
Something about Stephen Brennan’s squad has me intrigued. I didn’t think I would be voting for more than one NEWMAC team when I started this, but the Beavers have peaked my interest. They may be one of the riskier teams I’m eyeing as they have three starters and less than 30% of their scoring returning. However, Amado and Kirkpatrick are a strong duo and some of the talent coming in looks like it could contribute immediately.

In the final installment of the blog, I’ll share with you my 21-25 ranked preseason Top 25 men’s teams in Division III along with some final notes and personal reactions.