Following a 26-7 season, the men’s basketball program at Thomas More University, earned 108 points to be the highest receiving votes team in the NAIA Preseason Coaches’ Poll, announced by the national office on Wednesday.
With their 26-7 record the Saints qualified for the NAIA National tournament where they were set to be the 5 seed in the Liston Bracket before it was cancelled due to Covid-19. In their first year in the Mid-South Thomas More Men’s basketball team finished with an impressive 11-5 record in conference play.
Thomas More returns four starters including NAIA Honorable Mention All-American Ryan Batte. The redshirt junior started in every game for the Saints averaging 13.8 points, 5 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game last season. TMU also returns Mid-South Freshman of the year Reid Jolly. Jolly averaged 14.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game.
The senior perimeter tandem of Luke Rudy and Garren Bertsch also return for the Saints. Rudy and Bertsch combined for 156 of the 275 threes made during the 2019-20 season. Other key members Braden Connor, Keegan Saben, and Noah Pack return as well.
TMU added NCAA Division II transfer Logan Swackhammer, along with a promising freshmen class.
The reigning Mid-South Conference champion Georgetown College was at the top of the polls with 578 points receiving 12 first place votes. Mid-America Christian was the next highest in total points with 563 and 3 first place votes, ranking them second on the poll. Former Division II number 1, Indiana Wesleyan comes in at three with 555 points receiving 5 first place votes. William Penn and Lewis-Clark State complete the top 5. This is the first poll released since division I and division II basketball combined this year.
The Saints will tip off their season on October 30, where they will host Taylor (Ind.) at the Connor Convocation Center with opening tip being set for 7:00 p.m