Missouri Western men’s basketball has been rewarded for their hot start to the season.
The Griffons 4-0 start has garnered national attention, and as a result, Missouri Western is currently ranked No. 19 in the nation in Division II. This marks the first time that the Griffons have been ranked since they were No. 12 in 2002.
For anyone who has followed this team, the ranking shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. After an excellent season last year that saw the team make great strides, expectations were high that the men would continue to build. Even with a coaching change, the Griffons haven’t missed a beat and are one of three MIAA teams that are ranked, joining top-ranked Northwest Missouri State and No. 10 Washburn.
A 4-0 start is going to turn plenty of heads, but the way that the Griffons have won their games is just as impressive. A gritty defensive battle against Rogers State where they pulled away in overtime, 100 points against Central Missouri without Tyrell Carroll and triple digits the next game against Northeastern State. No individual player has carried them here. The Griffons are a team by every sense of the word. They play well, are well-coached and have a lot to prove.
Now it’s time to continue to build. With games tonight at Pittsburg State and Saturday at Missouri Southern, the Griffons have a chance to elevate themselves to a ranking that the school potentially hasn’t seen since the 1990’s.