Eagles Jump Into Top 10 Ahead of GLIAC Openers

Eagles Jump Into Top 10 Ahead of GLIAC Openers

The Ashland University men's basketball team climbed one spot to No. 10 in the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division II poll released on Tuesday (Dec. 3) afternoon.

The Eagles (6-0) are in the top 10 for the second consecutive season after sitting in the top 10 four consecutive weeks from Jan. 8-29 last season when they started the year with 13 straight victories.

The ranking sets up the Eagles' first GLIAC tests of the season, which will come on the road. AU will travel to Lake Superior State for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off on Thursday (Dec. 5) before a top 25 matchup against No. 23 Ferris State at 5:30 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 7).

Ashland is coming off a pair of quality wins away from Kates Gymnasium, winning the Gary Miller Classic in Erie, Pa. The Eagles toppled NCAA Tournament team Le Moyne, 87-77, on Friday, then beat host Gannon on Saturday, 81-76, in the championship game.

Senior center Drew Noble averaged 24.5 points, eight rebounds, 1.5 assists and one block per game to earn Most Outstanding Player honors at the event. He shot 56 percent (14-for-25) from the field in the tournament.

Junior forward Derek Koch also earned all-tournament team honors, averaging 15 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game while shooting 60 percent (12-for-20) from the field and 56 percent (5-for-9) from 3-point range.

The Eagles, in their 11th season under head coach John Ellenwood, have won at least 19 games in each of the last five seasons and are eyeing their third NCAA Tournament berth in five years.