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Ultimate Rankings Countdown: 253-235

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253. Liberty: 23 wins last year tied a school record for the most in a season since Liberty became Division I, but the team suffered some big losses in the off-season including the transfer of high scoring guard Seth Curry. Then coach Rich McKay resigned to become an assistant at Virginia. Assistant coach Dale Layer returns, but without Curry or Anthony Smith. The bulk of the scoring will be placed on senior guard Kyle Ohman (13.9 ppg), who is the returning leading scorer. 

252. Arkansas-Pine Bluff: Arkansas will have their work cut out for them once again this season. Coach George Ivory will have his hands full with senior guard Terrance Calvin (12 ppg) returning as the leading scorer and biggest offensive threat. Tavaris Washington will have to step up this season with scoring but look for this team to remain on the lower end of the SWAC. 

251. North Dakota State: NDSU was one of the best stories in college basketball last season, but big losses during the off-season will hamper the progress of NDSU this year. Don't expect another NCAA tourney appearance this season. The Bison lost four key members of the team, all seniors, including scoring guard Ben Woodside who dropped 37 on Kansas during a first round upset in the tournament, which leaves coach Saul Phillips with forward Michael Tveidt (9.8 ppg) and a lot of holes to fill. 

250. Detroit: Although the Titans have won a combined 14 games in the past two season, they have potential to be a serious up-and-coming team. Two Indiana transfers could make a big difference for former IU assistant Ray McCallum who posted a 7-23 record last season. Forward Xavier Keeling was the best player on the team before he went down with a foot injury, and center Eli Holman is now eligible. Look for the Titans to improve this season.

249. Towson: Look for the Tigers to struggle this season. Leading scorer and rebounder Junior Hairston is gone, and the backcourt is decent with scoring guard Josh Thornton and Troy Franklin. Coach Pat Kennedy's squad took another hit when freshman Will Adams was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. The road will be long for Kennedy this year. 

248. Appalachian State: Guard Kellen Brand returns as the Mountaineers leading scorer at 14.8 ppg, but that will not be enough to propel this Southern Conference team to a winning record, posting 5-9 on the road last season. Coach Buzz Peterson will get his wins in Boone, but look for this team to be on the lower end of .500. 

247. San Francisco: Last season's leader, senior Manny Quezada is gone, which means the fate of the team, or at least the scoring is on the shoulder of forward Dior Lowhorn. (20.1 ppg). the Dons have a chance to move up, but they need more help, particularly from sophomore guard Kwame Vaughn (10.8 ppg). Having the WCC scoring champ may not be enough to contend for a conference title. 

246. IUPUI: A Summit Conference title is within sights for IUPUI with forward Robert Glenn leading the team in scoring with 13.9 ppg. The team is young, but if they can gel, they will have much success this season. Leadership behind Gary Patterson will be missed but the Jaguars are deep in talent, including forward Alex Young, who was good for 10.8 ppg last season.

245. Harvard: Harvard needs to defend and rebound better in order to be a legitimate league contender. Coach Tommy Amaker is entering his third season as coach and got some upset wins last season in and out of the Ivy League. High scoring guard Jeremy Lin (17.8 ppg) returns with rising forward Keith Wright (8.1 ppg). Look for Harvard to improve slightly, but post a record on the lower end of .500.

244. Hawaii: Team chemistry is a real problem with Hawaii, which has left coach Bob Nash, only 2 seasons into his tenure, under scrutiny. Nash will be on the hot seat to find the right mix of players for 2009-2010, behind forward Roderick Flemings. The players need to find away to gel, and fast. 

243. William and Mary: The Tribe will be continuing its streak of 0 NCAA tournament appearances, coming off a losing season in 2008-2009, after reaching the CAA tourney finals the previous year. The team looks to rebound this year behind seniors David Schneider (14.1 ppg) and big man Danny Summer (13.4 ppg). 

242. Columbia: Contingent on a developing frontcourt this season, the Lions could contend for a top four finish in the league. Injuries were a major factor last season and limited a promising conference season to a 7-7 finish. Coach Joe Jones needs to find a way to get something from his rebuilding frontcourt, and former Lasalle forward Brian Grimes may be the answer. However guard Patrick Foley (10.9 ppg) missed 9 games and must find a way to stay healthy in order for the Lions to have an impact. 

241. Southeastern Louisiana: New transfer Rodney Jones will help out on the perimeter and center Patrick Sullivan is one of the best post players in the Southland Conference. If the Lions show chemistry, they have all the tools to make a run at the Southland title. Point guard Brandon Portenberry has a lot of weapons to utilize which should make for a smoothly run offense. 

240. UC-Irvine: The Anteaters  have a reason to be optimistic about the 2009-2010 season. Forward Eric Wise returns as an undersized forward averaging 14 ppg and 6 rebounds. Wise and senior Michael Hunter make a nice duo and Hunter contributes with 11.9 ppg. Look for improvement from their 12-19 season.

239. LIU-Brooklyn: This Northeast Conference school is coming off its first winning season since 1997-1998, and this could be a prelude to a possible title run. Guard Jayorntah Wisseh is back averaging 15.2 ppg, and is accompanied by Kyle Johnson (13.8 ppg) and the NEC newcomer of the year Julian Boyd (10.5 ppg). 

238. Youngstown State: The Penguins will need continuous solid guard play from DeAndre Mays (10.7 ppg) and Kelvin Bright (11.4 ppg) in order to make up for the lack of a frontcourt. Forward Sirlester Martin will be expected to step up his scoring which was elevated in March in order for the Penguins to improve on last season's 7-11 record.

237. Utah Valley: Recently granted Division I status, Utah Valley poses a threat with its 3 point shooting. The Wolverines lost leading scorer, guard Jordan Swarbrick (23.8 ppg), with no one returning who averaged in double figures. Pay attention to how the jump from Junior College affects their season. 

236. Iona: This MAAC squad and former Louisville assistant, coach Kevin Willard needs time to get this team back into the MAAC title hunt. Guard Scott Machado needs to carry a big load this season after the loss of leading scorer Gary Springer. The result of Iona's poor offense landed them a 19 loss season in 2008-2009, and the loss of Springer will not help the Gaels with the scoring load. 

235. Longwood: This is the nation's best Independent team, and then posted a 17 win season in 2008-2009. The Lancers return four starters from last year's team, including guard/forward Dana Smith. Smith is considered to be possibly the best all around player in independent ranks. The success of the Lancers depends on their December success, when six of their eight games are at home against beatable opponents.