EIU Women Ranked 25th in WBCA Academic Top 25


Published on July 31 2018 12:05 pm
Last Updated on July 31 2018 12:05 pm

ATLANTA (July 31, 2018) ­— Eastern Illinois women’s basketball had a successful year in the class room as the Panthers were ranked 25th in the WBCA Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll Poll released by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association on Tuesday.

The Panthers posted a team grade point average of 3.456 to land in the final spot in the Top 25 rankings under first-year head coach Matt Bollant.   One of Bollant’s former employers, Green Bay, was ranked first among NCAA Division I schools with a 3.753 team GPA followed in the top five by Western Illinois, St. Francis College, Robert Morris and Loyola University Maryland.   Belmont was the only other Ohio Valley Conference school ranked in the poll with a 3.595 team GPA landing the Bruins in 13th.

This marks the second straight season and fifth time that EIU women’s basketball has earned a WBCA Top 25 Academic ranking.  Last season EIU was ranked 21st with a team GPA of 3.512.  EIU’s other academic team rankings came in three straight seasons from 2006-09 with the Panthers highest WBCA ranking of seventh coming during the 2007-08 academic year.

The WBCA recognizes academic success at all levels of collegiate basketball with Michigan Tech, coached by Kim Cameron, leading NCAA Division II members with a 3.796 GPA. Emerson, coached by William Gould, took top honors in NCAA Division III with a 3.712 GPA. Mount Marty, coached by Thomas Schlimgen, was No. 1 in the NAIA division with a 3.683 GPA. And Northwest, coached by Janis Beal, led all two-year college members with a 3.449 GPA.

The WBCA Academic Top 25 recognizes NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA and two-year GPAs inclusive of all student-athletes on their rosters for the entire season. The 2017-18 season is the 23nd in which the WBCA has compiled the honor rolls.

“The WBCA is pleased to recognize those women’s basketball programs that have committed themselves to excellence on the court and in the classroom,” said WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew.  “The 119 teams we honor this year strive to achieve all-around success and we commend their efforts. Congratulations!”