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  • Writer's pictureJorie Allen

Men's Wheelchair Early Season Rankings, 2022-2023

1. University of Arizona (5-0)

The Wildcats are a force to reckon with so far this season with all their wins decided by 20 points or more. In three of those wins, Arizona put over 80 points on the board. Their highly productive offense makes them the dominate team in the league at this point. (They are also ranked #17 in CBT's Domination Rankings of all college basketball teams of all levels.) If they can sustain their momentum, seniors Tyrone Griner and Michael Sep, along with graduate student Hunter Pinke, will have quite the season to hang their hats on. They’ll face Illinois and Alabama on January 19th – 21st in the Hollister Winter Bash.

2. University of Illinois (4-0)

Four solid wins leaves the Fighting Illini undefeated in college play so far this season. Hard fought games against Alabama (58-53), UWW (56-52), and UTA (54-45) shows how tough this team can be in grinding out close games. In their win over Alabama, Willy Moronchuk had a 17-point, 12-rebound effort. Thomas Duffy and Gabe DenBraber rounded out the team’s double figure scorers with 14 and 13 respectively. A showdown with Arizona is looming on the last weekend in January.

3. University of Alabama (8-1)

Alabama is off to a strong start, only losing to undefeated Illinois. In their 68-60 win over Auburn on December 18th, Bama had three players in double figures. Parthasarathi Venkatram had 17 points and 12 boards. Tim Houston was one rebound shy of a double-double with 26 and 9, and Peter Berry added 14 points for the Crimson Tide. Alabama will face Arizona and Illinois in the Hollister Winter Bash.

4. University of Texas-Arlington (2-0)

The 2021-22 National Champs have played two games so far this season with comfortable wins over Edinboro and UWW. Ido Shkri paced the Movin' Mavs with 21 points in their win versus Edinboro. It’s early in the season, but if their 72-42 win against UWW is any indicator of what they’re capable of, expect to see them stay high up on CBT's rankings.

5. Auburn University (3-3)

Auburn hosted a tourney this past weekend as well, sneaking in some solid wins before Santa comes. The Tigers dominated Edinboro and Missouri, notching two victories over the Fighting Scots. In Auburn’s three losses two were to Arizona and one was to Alabama. In their 68-60 loss against the Crimson Tide on December 18th, Sam Armas had 12 points and a whopping 18 rebounds. Luke Robinson came close to a double-double 18 and 9 for the Tigers, and Evan Heller chipped in 16 points. If they can keep up the team effort, they’ll be hard to handle.

6. University of Missouri (1-5)

Missouri hosted an early season tourney, bringing in Auburn, Alabama, and Edinboro. Mizzou came out 1-3, losing two games to Alabama and one to Auburn. They picked up their first colligate win of the season in a great shooting day against Edinboro on Dec. 18th. They will be back in action on the last weekend of January when they host their last home tourney of the season.

7. Southwest Minnesota State (2-0)

Like other teams, the Mustangs haven’t seen a lot of collegiate competition yet this season. Their two wins come from back-to-back games against UWW on October 28th and 29th, including a 66-64 victory. We’ll see more of SW Minnesota on January 27th when they take on Nebraska-Omaha.

8. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (UWW) (1-3)

Records can be deceiving. UWW only has one win, but they only lost to Alabama by 12, 76-64 on Dec. 2nd. They’ve had multiple players put up 30-point games. Thomas Oberst scored 30 in UWW’s loss to the Crimson Tide, and AJ Fitzpatrick led the Warhawks with 33 points in their win over Edinboro. UWW now look to turn their stuffed stat sheets into victories.

9. Edinboro University (0-7)

The Fighting Scots saw action on December 2nd and 3rd, competing against UTA, Illinois, UWW, and Alabama. Edinboro struggled to find their offensive rhythm, going 0-4 in that tourney. They were back on floor this past weekend at Auburn and had two players score in double figures against Alabama. Jeremy Evans with 11 points and William Oberg with 10, but the Fighting Scots are still looking for their first victory. Their next opportunity for a win will come in late January.

10. Eastern Washington University (0-2)

With a tournament cancellation in late November, Eastern Washington has only had two games this season, both against powerhouse Arizona. The Eagles hope to find their rhythm as they play into the new year.

11. City University of New York (CUNY) (0-0)

Like their women’s team, the CUNY men a been limited to non-collegiate NWBA games up to this point in the season. We’ll see how they fare in college play in January.

12. University of Nebraska-Omaha (0-0)

Rounding out the mid-season speculations is Nebraska-Omaha, who hasn’t seen the floor yet this year. They’ll look get into the mix in upcoming games later this season.

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