Basketball: Radford Gets #22 Spot in New NCAA’s NET Ranking System

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By Lucas Carr | lcarr15@radford.edu

In the NCAA’s first-ever net rankings, Radford Men’s basketball team checked in at #22 out of 353 teams in Division 1 basketball.

Highlanders Top 6%

The NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Committee has done away with the Rating Percentage Index evaluation process and has adopted a new tool for the selection and seeding of teams for the 2019 NCAA Tournament. RPI rankings are based on the numerical rankings on a team’s wins and losses and their strength of schedule.

The NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET), will be the new barometer for the committee, and it will include game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin (capping at 10 points per game), and net offensive and defensive efficiency.

The new ranking system was approved in late July after months of consultation with the Division 1 Men’s Basketball Committee, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, top basketball analytics experts, and Google Cloud Professional Services. The NET system was created to be as accurate as possible while evaluating teams fairly.

Game date and order were just two of the criteria omitted from the evaluation process so as to give importance to both early and late-season games. There is also an implementation of a 10-point cap on the winning margin to prevent high rankings from encouraging unsportsmanlike play in accordance to teams running up the score when victory is certain.

The Highlanders have begun the 2018-19 season with a 6-1 record beating big-name teams like Notre Dame, William and Mary and most recently 17th ranked Texas Longhorns. They are averaging 77.4 points a game while holding opponents to 67.2 points per game.

Over the Thanksgiving break, Radford competed in the Gotham Classic, hosted by the Fighting Irish in South Bend, Indiana. The Highlanders went 3-1 in the tournament, upsetting and Notre Dame 63-60 as well as handing losses to UIC and William and Mary.

Their only loss in the tournament came by way of Duquesne in a tightly contested match-up ending with a final score of 69-64.

Radford’s Best Start to a Season

The Highlanders are having the best start to a season since the 1990-91 season when they started 8-0. They are on a three-game winning streak and look to continue the streak as they travel to Harrisonburg to take on the Dukes of James Madison Tuesday, Dec. 4.

Check the Radford Men’s Basketball team homepage to see the outcomes.

They will continue their six-game road trip playing Power 5 teams such as Clemson on Dec. 15 and Maryland on Dec. 29 to close out 2018. The Highlanders will not come back to the Dedmon Center until New Year’s Day as they go up against the Mars Hill Lions.

Radford will begin Big South Conference play against Longwood University on Jan. 5 in the New River Valley. They look for two consecutive Big South Championships and to move up in the NET rankings and to make another NCAA Tournament Birth by the time March comes around.

Senior forward Ed Polite Jr. (12.0 Points Per Game) and Redshirt Sophomore point guard Carlik Jones (16.2 Point Per Game) plan to keep this train rolling as the 2018-19 basketball season gets into full swing.