WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- Mike Maker's Williams College men's basketball team is ranked fifth nationally in DIII News and seventh by The Sporting News magazine in their annual NCAA Division III preseason polls. The Ephs are the lone New England team to be ranked in the top 10 in each poll.
Williams finished last season with a glittering record of 30-2 and second in the nation, while posting an in-season school record 21 wins in a row. The Ephs won their second consecutive outright Little Three title and the NESCAC title in 2010.
Mike Maker enters his third season at Williams sporting a record of 47-11 (.810), which includes a 4-1 (.800) mark in the NCAA Tournament. Headlining the list of returnees for the 2010-11 Ephs is junior guard and captain James Wang, who has been accorded Second Team All-America preseason honors by The Sporting News. Two senior frontcourt starters also return in center and captain Troy Whittington who was named to the NCAA All-Tournament team last winter along with forward and captain Harlan Dodson. Whittington was also selected for preseason recognition by The Sporting News, which named him an Honorable Mention All-American.
Wang is the Ephs leading returning scorer after netting 17.3 per contest last winter on 56% shooting from the floor (190-342), 51% from three (69-136) and 86% from the charity stripe (105-122). He also handed out 4.4 assists a game.
Whittington has developed into a presence in the middle for the Ephs at both ends of the court. Always a superior shot blocker (80 last season) and shot changer, he has developed an inside game on offense that led him to average 11.1 points per game, many coming on thunderous dunks. Whittington led the Ephs in rebounding a year ago with 198 and 44 came on the offensive glass.
Dodson netted 6.2 points a game last season and hauled down 75 rebounds.
Williams will open the season on November 19th at home versus Southern Vermont in the first round of the Williams Invitational.
2010-11 DIII New Division III Top-10 Poll
1. Wisconsin-Stevens Point
3. Eastern Mennonite
7. Franklin & Marshall
9. St. Thomas (MN)
10. Washington University
2010-11 Sporting News Division III Top-10 Poll
1. UW-Stevens Point
2. Franklin & Marshall
5. St. Norbert
6. Eastern Mennonite
9. St. Mary's (Md)
10. Virginia Wesleyan