This archived article was written by: Kelli Burke-Gabossi
After the Utah State University-College of Eastern Utah men’s basketball team was ranked no. 8 in the Top 10 National Poll of Division 1, they suffered losses, removing them from the rankings. With a press-time record of 9-2 in preseason, the team faces some challenges when the regular season commences.
The rankings are released every Monday and are determined by athletic director representatives from each region; the win-loss record and recruiting class is considered for each region. The first release was determined by the students recruited. Representatives for region 18 are in North Idaho.
The team was ranked no. 9 at the beginning of the preseason, but their show of improvement fell. “We need to work on our offensive continuity. Some guys need to work on their egos and get used to playing their role,” Coach Brad Barton stated.
Though the team rankings have dropped, the coach feels, “We play very hard. We show a lot of team work. We have a lot of versatility as well, our ability to score inside and out.”
Barton is looking forward to the regular season. “It’s what matters. We’re fighting for a league title. It’s a high-level competition. It’s why we play.”
The rankings do not help the team win a conference title or advance to the national tournament, but the team is proud to have made the list. “It’s good for our community and for our recruits to be recognized.” Barton added, “It’s the highest ranking [in the preseason] we’ve ever achieved in our program. But the accomplishment comes with wins and losses, not rankings.”
The coach advises students to “Cherish the moment. Enjoy it while it’s here. Your prime goes by in a blink. Enjoy your college years.”