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  • Writer's pictureSean Savage

NCCAA Men's Update - 3 Teams to Watch Next Season

What can Baptist Bible College do for an encore? Capturing the Division I 2021-22 National Christian College Athletic Association title marked the second national crown for the Patriots in consecutive years — in different leagues.

As all 39 teams prepare for next season, here’s a look at three key teams to keep an eye on for next season.

Baptist Bible College

Success was familiar for the Patriots coming into the 2021-22 season. They won the 2021 ACCA National Championship before adding the NCCAA Division I trophy this year.

The Patriots’ #2 ranked offense scored nearly 90 points per game throughout the season with an average win margin of +11.

The Patriots have much to look forward to in a very deep rotation. Freshman Braden Branstetter ranked No. 3 from beyond the arc with a 3-point field goal percentage of 47.1. Junior center Treant McBride is the 6th best scorer in the nation with an average of 20.6 points and 8,0 rebounds per game.

Baptist Bible College cut down the nets after defeating the No. 2 seed, Lancaster Bible College, in the title game. Senior guard Tre Minton had a huge performance in the final 20:00 of the game. He got caught up in foul trouble in the first half, only scoring 3 points. However, he flipped the switch in the second, scoring 19 points while hitting 50 percent from beyond the arc (3/6). With two key buckets late in the game, Minton finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds. He was voted All-Tournament Team. McBride was MVP of the tournament with 25 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

Patriots coach Darin Meinders and the young talented team aim for a three-peat next year.

Carolina University

The Bruins had a breakout season and a year to remember. In coach Willie Williams's second year with the program, he was able to turn an 8-8 tenuous season affected by COVID into its best-recorded record (22-7), winning the South Region tournament and finishing third at the NCAA Division I National Tournament.

The Bruins finished as the No. 1 ranked scoring defense in the NCCAA. On the offensive side, four players averaged over 10 points per game. Notably, 6-foot-2 junior guard Micah Cooper averaged 14.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 2.0 steals through the season. His elite level of play earned him NCCAA Division I South Region 1st Team and All-Tournament Team.

Williams was named NCCAA Division I South Region Coach of the year. He has won this award three times before and feels that "winning is a byproduct of the culture we have built." Williams led the Bruins to the most successful season in the program’s history.

Lancaster Bible College

The Chargers, led by coach Jon Mack, had one of their most successful seasons, claiming the National Midwest Regional title before falling short in the NCCAA championship game.

The Chargers made an impressive postseason run after being ranked No. 10 in power ratings. Leading the way was senior Jordan Shewbridge, who was named NCCAA Division I All-American Second Team. In addition, he became the first player to earn an NCCAA All-American honor for the program.

Shewbridge led the Chargers' offense this season, scoring 19.7 points per game and shooting 45.8 percent from the floor. He was also a threat beyond the arc, having a very impressive 41.2 3-point field goal percentage. Shewbridge's 612 points this season are the fifth most in the program's history.

Alongside Shewbridge was sophomore guard Grant Sareyka. He had a breakout season scoring 6.6 more points per game, averaging 15 through the season. Adam Stoltzfus, a junior forward standing in at 6-foot-5, also contributed to the team's success by averaging a double-double.

The Chargers' stellar season should launch them next year on the same track, with many players returning and high expectations set.

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