The Captains’ Poll has no impact on the National Tournament seedings, it is just an opinionated poll put on by the Captains of the NCDA.
Agree? Disagree? Feel free to comment at the bottom.
GV is your defending National and MDC Champion, and have three of the five best players in the NCDA in my opinion. But they’re not top heavy, the team is loaded 1-20 (and possibly even further!) and they will be an extremely tough out in any tournament they play in this year.
James Madison is probably the team with the best shot of usurping Grand Valley this season, as they proved they can do it at Nationals 2013. The Dukes are loaded with talent and have their leadership core intact. Look for big things from this team this season.
#2. James Madison
#1. Grand Valley
UK came off a season where they were statistically the second best team, and they made their second straight Final Four. They too have to replace their captain, but their talent is so immense that they could make a run for Final Four #3.
State has a good returning team, and despite the loss of all three captains they should be in good hands. They’re coming off an all-time best season, but they’ve never won a National Championship and it’s been a very long time since a MDC title.
Kent has had the #1 ranking the last two seasons, and have made consecutive Final Fours. They were most ranked between 4 and 6, so it makes sense they’d slot in here. They may be under-ranked, but the top is so good this season that its hard to say a team doesn’t belong near the top.
#5. Kent State
#4. Michigan State
Just a year removed from a National Title, SV is losing some key players, but they always reload and they have a terrific fanbase. The Cards also have the motivation to play anyone at anytime, and will definitely improve this season.
Central Michigan and Ohio State played an excellent Nationals First Round game, so naturally they’d be placed together here as well. Central could be a top team this year if they can get some solid recruits, and OSU is banking on continued growth of their young stars.
UWP and WKU were only separated by two points, one of the closest pairs in this poll. UWP had a breakout Nationals tournament, and WKU is constantly knocking on the door of excellence. We’ll see if they each can take the next step this season.
#9. Western Kentucky
#8. Central Michigan
#7. Ohio State
#6. Saginaw Valley
Moody is the highest ranked team that did not go to Nationals, but people are well aware of their talent. If they can get a few more bodies, they could move up in this poll.
DePaul and Towson are on opposite ends of the spectrum but they are close in the Captains’ Poll. DePaul is an established team who is looking to make some noise this year, Towson a young team looking to build on their success of 2013.
Maryland missed out on going to Nationals last season, but they did have a positive NET rating and were ranked seventh last year.
Penn State got some love after their first tournament ever at Nationals 2013, hopefully they’ll continue their quick growth and pick up some wins in 2014.
#15. Penn State
Miami and BG were neck and neck in this, and barely missed out on #15. These two schools are established, but there is an air of anonymity about them for next season.
VCU was 0-11 last season (did not go to Nationals 2013) but they are said to be promising with some talent. Remember, Towson went oh-fore in 2012 before stepping up in 2013.
North Texas was 1-0 last season, and NSULA also picked up a win on the season. They, hopefully, will get more games in on the season.
#20. North Texas
#19. Northwestern State
#18. Virginia Commonwealth
#16. Bowling Green
All five of these teams missed out on Nationals, and Nebraska and RIT played only one tournament each last season.
#25. Kansas State
#23. Western Illinois
#21. Rochester Institute of Technology
Lakers send off Stevenson in style, and pick up a critical two points and should take some confidence as well from this, as they lost their last game close to SVSU.
Spartans appear devastated, but this is possibly the best game they’ve played in the history of their program to this point. Obviously you never want to win, but they do receive a point and should take some confidence from this match.
Bailey is the hero, as he eliminates SIX different Spartans in the OT point.
Lakers remain perfect all time vs the Spartans as they win an instant classic in Allendale.
LAKERS WIN! Refs decide the ball that hit Acton became dead first, resulting in a GVSU win!
HOLY COW! Acton and Bailey both miss on their first throws, but then both hit each other at the same time!!! Both teams think they’ve won, but its down to a final decision of the referees.
Team throw on Bailey blocked, and Bailey shoeshines Paul to make it a one on one final showdown between All Stars Acton and Bailey.
But Eric Paul counters and makes a fantastic catch of his own on Knight! Knight on the court for seconds before being caught out. 2 on 1 now for MSU as Acton makes his way back in.
WHAT A CATCH BY BAILEY! After throwing at Paul, Bailey makes a gutsy diving catch on Kramer to give the Lakers a 2 to 1 advantage now. Knight in on the catch
Two great dodges by Bailey lead to him acquiring four balls as MSU misses both team throw attempts.
Captain Mark Trippiedi out to give Bailey some words of encouragement as the OT period reaches 15 minutes.
Bailey misses badly, resulting in yet another shot clock violation. State has seven balls and two men to take down GVSU’s Bailey.
After Bailey fires two more shots, a MSU team throw results in nothing. The tension in the gym is unbelievable for an NCDA game.
The game gets going again as Bailey throws and hits the basketball hoop behind the baseline. Ball ricochets back to Bailey however.
Bailey was an All-Star as a freshman, going up against two time All Star (and All-NCDA player) Eric Paul and Chris Kramer, who is in his final game.
Bailey fires one at Kramer and misses, but Paul’s throw is short and another shot clock violation is called against MSU
Bacchus was actually eliminated earlier on one of his dodges, so it’s sophomore Kevin Bailey #4 for GVSU vs two seniors for MSU- Kramer and Paul.
One of the few times you’d rather have a shot clock violation than a throw leads to GVSU having all the balls, but MSU still having 2 players.
This could be the break MSU’s been looking for for years against GVSU, as they try and pull off their first victory ever against the Lakers.
Refs and captains are discussing the ruling at center court.
Bailey makes a monster catch on Kramer, but a shot clock violation was called on MSU before the throw, meaning no catch. GVSU in disbelief again.
Another great dodge by Bacchus! Stays alive to keep it 2 on 2.
Bacchus with a great dodge, avoiding the team throw by the Spartans. State still has 5 balls however.
Captain Mark Trippiedi pleads his case to MSU Captain Sam Hiller and the referees, but there will not be an overturning of the call.
The fans in the GVSU Fieldhouse are stunned, as well as some of the players.
Shot clock violation called on GVSU, giving the Spartans all 7 balls. Could be a crucial mistake by the Lakers.
Spartans miss on a team throw, followed up by a miss by Fettig on Paul. Paul then throws and hits Fettig in the leg, evening the OT period up at 2v2.
Kramer with two critical blocks, one on Fettig and one on Bailey, as GV leads 3 to 2. Kramer and Paul vs Fettig, Bacchus, and Bailey.
After Bacchus dodges a two person team throw, Bailey takes down yet another Spartan- this time Andrew Koczara.
With there only being six players on the court and seven balls, ball possession will be critical. The game is wide open now, a mistake could change the momentum one way or the other
Team throw on Paul, but he makes a slick dodge to avoid contact with the balls. Still 3v3
Three on three now- Paul, Kramer, and Koczara for State, Bailey, Bacchus, and Fettig for GV.
Bailey throws- and the referee awards a kill on Van Ermen. MSU doesn’t like the call, but it will stay.
Bacchus and Bailey team throw on #20 Lieblich of MSU. After originally getting a no-call, the assistant referee calls Lieblich out.
Lakers may be down men, but they have significant ball possession over the Spartans. MSU stuck on their baseline waiting for GV to make a move.
Acton elminated near side by a Laker, makes it 5v4 MSU.
Paul brought back in on the exchange.
Catch by MSU- Captain Mark Trippiedi attempts to eliminate MSU’s Van Ermen, but the ball sails right into #72 Acton’s arms for an easy snag. 6v4 MSU advantage.
Kill for GVSU- team throw by the Lakers K.O.’s #9 Eric Paul
Correction- Bacchus NOT eliminated, balls were all dead before coming in contact with him. 6v5 still, MSU leads.
Another kill for MSU- after a few volleys back and forth, MSU takes out AC Kenny Bacchus
Spartans get the first kill of the OT session- Lakers’ Knight eliminated
Stevenson for GVSU and MSU’s Kramer and Koczara are all playing their final games for their programs.
State counters with Chris Kramer, Andrew Koczara, Eric Paul, Alex Acton, Mike Van Ermen, and Andy Lieblich.
Lakers go with captain Mark Trippiedi, AC Dylan Fettig, Kevin Bailey, Josh Stevenson, Ryan Knight, and AC Kenny Bacchus.
Lieblich and Paul combine for a team throw on Stevenson, taking down the senior with a shot to the thigh. 5v3 MSU.