Another First For SHSU Basketball

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It took a day later than normal, but the Sam Houston State men’s basketball team received a vote in the Associated Press basketball poll.

The Kats received one vote this week, but were not initially listed in the poll. Two ballots were incorrectly counted in this week's Associated Press Top 25 college basketball poll. The errors affected only the point totals, not the rankings.

Two ballots were not tabulated, causing an error in the first-place votes and omitting one point for Sam Houston State.

The appearance in the Division I poll is the first for the Bearkats since they became eligible for AP votes in 1987.

“It is nice for the university to get recognition,” head coach Bob Marlin said. “With the limited number of voters it is great someone is giving us recognition for the start we have had. We have beaten a couple of good teams. Our league is also playing really well right now, and I think it is the best it has ever been.”

Sam Houston is off to the best start to a season since becoming a Division I program. They are 7-0 on the season and have recorded home victories over Texas Tech and Fresno State and a road win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The Bearkats also boast the nation’s second-longest non-conference home-court winning streak at 42 games. Only Duke at 55 games has a better run than the Bearkats. The last time SHSU lost at home to someone other than a Southland Conference opponent was on a last-second shot by Texas A&M in 1998, head coach Bob Marlin’s first year with the program.

According to realtimerpi.com, the Bearkats are currently ranked No. 4 with a strength of schedule rated No. 32.

This is just another first for the Sam Houston Basketball program under Marlin. Since taking over the program in 1998, the Bearkats won their first Southland Conference title in 2000 and repeated again in 2003. That year SHSU also made its first trip to the NCAA Tournament. In 2006 the Bearkats advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT Season Tip-off, knocking off Missouri in the first round. Since 2000, Sam Houston State has the second-most victories (156) among Division I schools in Texas behind the University of Texas (204).

This is the second straight season a member of the Southland Conference received a vote in the AP poll. On March 5, 2007 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi also received a vote.

Sam Houston State will play a pair of road games over the next week and a half, heading to Saint Louis on Saturday and then taking on Texas Southern Dec. 15.