GRAND FORKS, N.D. - The University of North Dakota has earned its fifth-consecutive Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Academic Top 25 Team Honor Roll, according to a recent announcement by the organization. UND's 3.505 combined team GPA ranked eighth in all of NCAA Division I, its seventh overall appearance on the list.
"Being in the top 25 in any given year is an outstanding achievement," said Amanda Hajdu, UND Athletics' Director of Academic Services. "But, being able to proclaim that you're in the top 25 for five consecutive years is a remarkable accomplishment for this team. It's truly the result of dedicated coaches and student-athletes, and their continued emphasis on academic success."
The WBCA Academic Top 25 annually recognizes NCAA Divisions I, II, III, NAIA, and junior/community college women's basketball teams across the nation that carry the highest combined grade point averages inclusive of all student-athletes on their roster for the entire season. This marks the 17th season in which the WBCA has compiled the honor roll.
"With the strong tradition of our academic integrity that Coach Gene Roebuck established, we are in a good position to keep moving forward with our move to DI," said new Head Coach Travis Brewster (who was an assistant on last year's staff). "All of the hard work that our young ladies do in the classroom correlates with our success on the court."
Green Bay took top honors with a 3.616 GPA, just ahead of South Dakota State (3.600). Fellow Great West Conference school Utah Valley checked-in at No. 7 with a 3.524 combined GPA. Four Big Sky Conference members cracked the top 25 with Montana State (11th), Northern Colorado (12th), Montana (17th) and Eastern Washington (25th) all garnering accolades.
"I look forward to the release of the Academic Top 25 each summer," said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. "Because our society places so much emphasis on winning games and championships, it is a refreshing change of pace when we recognize those teams that excel in the classroom.
"Like winning on the court, academic success on a team level does not happen by accident. It requires a group of student-athletes who realize the importance of education and earning their degrees, coaches who expect and encourage their players to attend class and study, and administrators who provide strong academic support programs for their athletes," said Bass.
North Dakota (21-11 overall) had success on the court as well last season, winning the Great West Conference regular season and postseason tournament titles and qualifying for the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI). UND has successfully completed the transition to full NCAA Division I status and will compete in the Big Sky Conference next season.
NORTH DAKOTA WBCA TOP 25 HONORS
2011-12 8th 3.505
2010-11 22nd 3.358
2009-10 10th 3.442
2008-09 2nd 3.580
2007-08 14th* 3.474
1999-00 12th* 3.401
1996-97 15th* 3.285
*Among Division II schools