BEAVERTON, Oregon-2009 West Regional finalist Brigham Young-Hawaii is the top team in the 2009 Division II Bulletin Preseason Top 25 ranking.
The Seasider (27-2) return All-American Lucas Alves (19.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg) in the post and senior point guard Virgil (J.R.) Buensucesco (11.4 ppg), a Cousy Award finalist last season. Brigham Young-Hawaii also feature junior Marques Whippy (8.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and sophomore Tsung-Hsien (Jet) Chang (12.3 ppg), the PacWest Conference Freshman of the Year.
"This is the first time a team from Hawaii has been ranked No. 1 in our preseason Top 25," said Gary Rubin, publisher of Division II Bulletin. "It was a difficult decision, but we felt BYU-Hawaii as the talent to carry onto the national stage."
Right behind at No. 2 is defending national champion Findlay, which returns two starters. Rounding out the top five are Southwest Baptist, national runner-up Cal Poly-Pomona and Bellarmine.
The second five includes Tusculum, Merrimack, Augusta State, Florida Southern and Bentley.
Division II Bulletin has selected a preseason Top 25 every year since 1991.
Division II Bulletin
Preseason Top 25
18-Grand Valley State
23-Johnson C. Smith
24-West Virginia State
Others to watch: Barton, Cal State-San Bernardino, Catawba, Christian Brothers, Claflin, Dallas Baptist, Fort Hays STate, Gannon, Massachusetts-Lowell, New Mexico Highlands, Seattle Pacific, Southern Indiana, Tarleton State, South Carolina-Aiken, Virginia Union
(Source Division II Bulletin)