Newberry cagers atop Division II statistical rankings

Newberry cagers atop Division II statistical rankings
Tuesday, January 13, 2009 | by Scarlet and gray lead the country in blocked shots

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Newberry College men's basketball team is listed prominently in this week's NCAA Division II statistical rankings, which were released Tuesday.

Newberry (11-3, 2-2 South Atlantic Conference) is the ranked in the top 25 nationally in three team categories, while two players are near the top in several categories.

The scarlet and gray are ranked first nationally in blocked shots per game at 6.6 blocks per contest. The University of the Incarnate Word (Texas) is also at 6.6 blocks per game, but have played in two fewer contests than Newberry to give NC the top spot. Newberry's 93 blocks in 14 games are third nationally in total blocks behind the University of Southern Indiana (100 blocks in 18 games) and Florida Southern College (99 blocks in 17 games).

Junior forward Kendrick Johnson (Orangeburg, S.C.) is largely responsible for Newberry's top ranking, as he sits fourth nationally in blocks per game with 3.5 swats each contest. Southwest Baptist (Mo.)'s Matthew Rogers and Incarnate Word's Lawrence Bailey are tied at the top spot with 4.5 blocks per game, while Florida Southern's Rashaad Singleton has 3.9 blocks per game for third.

Johnson, Newberry's all-time leading shot blocker, has 49 blocks in 14 games this season. He also has 187 career blocks, which places him at fourth in the history of the South Atlantic Conference. With six more blocked shots, he will pass Eric Burrow, who collected 192 career blocks at Presbyterian College from 1995-99, for third in league history.

The scarlet and gray are also near the top of the charts in several defensive categories. Newberry is ranked 18th in field goal percentage defense (38.8%), 22nd in three-point field goal defense (28.4%) and 28th in scoring defense (63.0 points per game.)

Sophomore guard Grant Domsic (Winter Garden, Fla.) is also listed prominently for his proficiency on the perimeter. Domsic is 16th nationally in three-point field goal percentage (46.7%) and 25th nationally in three-pointers per game (3.0/game).

Newberry will look to continue its success on the hardwood at home tomorrow night, as the scarlet and gray host the Railsplitters of Lincoln Memorial University for a South Atlantic Conference tilt at approximately 8 p.m. in Eleazer Arena. The game is the finale of "Mania Night" at Newberry. The annual faculty/staff vs. students game will take place at 4:30 p.m., followed by the Newberry vs. LMU women's game at 6 p.m.