Thu, Jan. 12, 2017 - [Men's Basketball]
The Rochester College Warriors men's basketball team moved up to #7 in latest national ranking after a 20-1 start to the season. The poll, released Tuesday afternoon, is voted on by a panel of coaches from across the country and is determined by a point system based on how each voter ranks the best teams. The Warriors finished just two points behind the #5 team in the rankings. The #7 ranking is the highest the RC men have been ranked all time and is the highest any Rochester College team has ever been ranked.
Fifth year senior starting guard, Paris Pereira (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester HS) is happy with the ranking but knows a lot comes with being ranked the 7th best team in the nation. "It's an honor to be so highly respected around the country," said Pereira. "I'm grateful that we've been recognized for what we've done so far, but it's also an incredible responsibility. We know we will get everyone's best effort so we can't afford to take any possessions off."
RC has wins against impressive wins along the way, including a 15 point win over then #5 Indiana University-East in a game where the Warriors led by as much as 20 points. They also sport wins against Cincinnati Christian and Southeastern University, both of whom were receiving votes at the time. Their lone loss on the season was by only four points on the road at the hands of traditional NAIA powerhouse Grace College.
The Warriors are ranked #1 in the nation in scoring defense, only giving up 59.9 points per game. They also rank #2 in scoring margin at 23.7 and #3 in field goal percentage defense by holding their opponents to 38.4%. RC lands at #4 in assist to turnover ratio with an impressive 1.55 and is 7th in offensive field goal percentage, connecting on over 50% of their attempts. In all, the Warriors are in the top 10 in the nation in seven statistical categories and are in the top 20 in four others.
RC has three players who average double figures in scoring and three others who are just shy of double figures. Angelo Griffis (Kalamazoo, Mich./Ferris State University) leads the team, averaging 20.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, including 7 double-doubles on the season. Jaylen Larry (Flint, Mich./Kalamazoo Valley CC) has recorded five double-doubles on the year and is averaging 14.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest. Armand Cartwright (Bloomfield, Mich./Bloomfield HS) is scoring almost 11 points per game and is helped by Justin Nafso (Walled Lake, Mich./Walled Lake Central HS) (9.6 ppg), Pereira (9.4 ppg) and Cap Wilson (Davison, Mich./Goodrich HS) (8.3ppg).
The Warriors have a tough road stretch in front of them as they play Indiana University Northwest, Wilberforce University and Lincoln Christian University. All three games will be played at IUNW in Gary, IN. They will then come home and host IUNW on January 28th at Rochester Adams High School.