Xavier Athletics



Gold Rush 19th in VSN preseason rankings
October 16, 2008

     NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana is starting the 2008-09 men's basketball season in a familiar spot — among the best NAIA teams in the nation.
     Coach Dannton Jackson's Gold Rush is No. 19 in the Victory Sports Network preseason rankings announced Thursday. VSN writer David Paul Estes determines the rankings.
     Xavier returns nine lettermen, including starters Shaun Dumas and Dannie Woods, from its 2007-08 team, which was 24-10 and earned a school-record fourth consecutive berth in the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Championship at Kansas City, Mo. That team was No. 8 in VSN's preseason rankings and climbed as high as No. 5 during the season.
     Two opponents on the Rush's schedule are ranked. No. 15 LSU-Shreveport will host Xavier on Jan. 8 in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference opener and visit Xavier on Feb. 7. No. 16 MidAmerica Nazarene — moving to NAIA Division I this season after winning the Division II championship in 2007 and reaching the semifinals in 2008 — will play Xavier Nov. 28 in the Concordia Thanksgiving Tournament at Irvine, Calif.
     Robert Morris (Chicago), a quarterfinalist at the 2008 national tournament, is the preseason No. 1 team. Two-time defending champion Oklahoma City is No. 5. Also in the top 10 are No. 2 Georgetown (Ky.) — a first-round loser to Xavier at the 2007 national tournament — and No. 8 Texas Wesleyan, which lost to Xavier at The Barn this past season.
     Dumas, who averaged 10.5 points per game in 2007-08, is a two-time All-GCAC selection and was the league's Freshman of the Year in 2004-05. Woods averaged 6.3 points and led the team in blocked shots. Also back is Kelechi Okoroha, who shot 60 percent from the floor the past two seasons.
     Xavier will tip off its regular season at 5 p.m. on Oct. 31 against Southern Polytechnic at The Barn. The Rush will play its first six regular-season games at home and visit Southern in a Nov. 11 exhibition in the middle of that stretch. Xavier will play Dillard on Jan. 24 in the Crosstown Classic at New Orleans Arena in the first of two meetings with its longtime city, HBCU and GCAC rival.
     VSN will release its first regular-season ranking Nov. 10. The NAIA will announce its preseason basketball coaches polls in all four divisions — Division I men and women, Division II men and women — on Oct. 27 and its first regular-season polls Dec. 1.
Victory Sports Network
2008-09 Men's Basketball
Preseason Rankings

(2007-08 records in parentheses)
1. Robert Morris (Chicago) (28-4)
2. Georgetown (Ky.) (34-1)
3. Lee (Tenn.) (33-2)
4. California Baptist (24-9)
5. Oklahoma City (31-7)
6. Azusa Pacific (24-11)
7. Oklahoma Baptist (24-10)
8. Texas Wesleyan (20-12)
9. Cumberlands (20-14)
10. McKendree (27-7)
11. Auburn Montgomery (19-9)
12. Union (Tenn.) (18-13)
13. Mountain State (34-3)
14. Campbellsville (25-10)
15. LSU-Shreveport (31-3)
16. MidAmerica Nazarene (31-5)
17. Westminster (Utah) (20-7)
18. Northwestern Oklahoma (18-11)
19. Xavier (24-10)
20. Freed Hardeman (20-11)
21. Concordia (Calif.) (28-5)
22. Olivet Nazarene (17-15)
23. Lambuth (29-5)
24. Martin Methodist (26-7)
25. Illinois Springfield (22-10)


Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's and women's teams in basketball, cross country and tennis.

Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive
Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
(504) 520-7329 phone
(504) 520-7934 fax

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