MSU Roundup: Basketball Up to #24!

Two-time defending South Central Region Midwestern State returned to the National Association of Basketball Coaches' Division II Poll at No. 24 as released Tuesday afternoon.
The Mustangs are off to a 6-0 for the ninth time in school history just two years after starting the 2009-10 season with 14 consecutive wins.
MSU last held a national ranking at No. 24 the week of Jan. 11, 2011.
The Mustangs are one of seven teams from the rugged South Central Region to receive mention in the poll which also includes No. 1 Missouri Southern, No. 10 Fort Hays State (Kan.), No. 12 Tarleton State (Texas) and No. 25 Arkansas Tech while Harding (Ark.) and West Texas A&M are receiving votes.
Interestingly, MSU is one of just 16 remaining unbeaten squads in NCAA Division II and eliminated top-ranked Missouri Southern 75-52 in the regional semifinals last March in Edmond, Okla.
The Mustangs enjoy an idle week before hitting the road for a pair of Lone Star Conference tilts at Angelo State on Monday and Incarnate Word on Wednesday next week.
MSU returns to the dome on Saturday, Nov. 17 against Texas A&M-Kingsville. Tipoff for the women's game is set for 5 p.m. with the men following at 7 p.m.

Silatolu, ACU's Whiteside Named Region's Upshaw Winners

Midwestern State's Amini Silatolu and Abilene Christian's Aston Whiteside were recognized as the two Super Region Four representatives for the 2011 Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year Award presented by the Mannheim Touchdown Club.
Silatolu and Whiteside advance to the national ballot that will be distributed on December 12 to all Division II Sports Information Directors. The announcement of the Eighth Annual Gene Upshaw Award winner will take place at the East/West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla., on January 22, 2012.
Silatolu, a senior offensive tackle from Tracy, Calif., was the top vote getter with 55 points, including four first place votes. He is a two-time Lone Star Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year and was a unanimous Division II Preseason All-American.
As a junior, he earned AFCA and first team and Daktronics second team All-American honors.  This year, he helped pave the way for the nation's top offense (548.2 yards per game) and No. 2 ground attack (327.20 yards per game).  He led the Mustangs to its first undefeated regular season in school history and first outright LSC title.
Whiteside, a senior defensive lineman from Vernon, Texas, was the second leading vote getter with 45 points, including two first place votes.  He has already taken home Lone Star Conference Defensive Lineman and Defensive Player of the Year and Daktronics Super Region Four Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2011.
He led ACU to four consecutive NCAA Division II national playoff appearances, two undefeated regular seasons and two LSC championships.  Whiteside is a three-time all-region and two-time All-America selection.  He led the Wildcats with 12.5 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks in 2011 and finished his career with 57.5 tackles for loss and 31.5 sacks.
Silatolu and Whiteside outpaced a strong group of 13 nominees in Super Region 4.  Finishing in third place in the voting was Missouri Western's David Bass who led all players with five first place votes.
The winner of the 2011 Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year award will earn the right to be called the top NCAA Division II lineman in the nation.  He will have the guaranteed opportunity to play in the East/West Shrine and the NFLPA All-Star games.
These opportunities to play in prestigious national all-star games in front of National Football League coaches and scouts are the fruits of labors by members of the Manheim Touchdown Club, the presenting sponsor of the Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year Award for the eighth successive season.
The opportunities also reflect the overwhelming respect shown to Mr. Upshaw by NFL officials, who by their agreement to offer the Upshaw Award a spot in the East/West Shrine and NFLPA all-star games, have endorsed the award named in his honor.
That support comes as recognition of and appreciation for the hard work done on and off the field by the late Mr. Upshaw as an All-Pro lineman for the Oakland Raiders and later as the 25-year Executive Director of the NFL Players Association.
Mr. Upshaw, a former standout offensive lineman at Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M-Kingsville) who passed away in August 2008, was also honored in 1987 by induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
The winners were selected by vote of the sports information directors of football playing institution in NCAA Division II's Super Region Four.