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Andy Wittry | | September 18, 2018

California Baptist and North Alabama join DI this year. Here's what you need to know.

2018 One Shining Moment

The number of NCAA Division I men's basketball schools will climb to 353 this season as California Baptist and North Alabama make the jump from the Division II level. Here's everything you need to know about the two newest DI teams.

Note: Cal Baptist and North Alabama will not be eligible for NCAA-sponsored postseason competition until after they complete their transition to the DI level following the 2021-22 season.

California Baptist

Location: Riverside, California

Enrollment: 9,941 students (as of Fall of 2017)

New conference: Western Athletic Conference (WAC)

Previous conference: PacWest (DII)

Coach: Rick Croy

  • 132-29 at California Baptist (79-7 at home)
  • Made the NCAA Division II tournament in each of his five seasons at CBU

Players to watch:

  • Jordan Heading, guard, RS-Sr. – 14.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.8 apg, 34.6 3P% in '17-'18
  • De'Jon Davis, forward, Jr. – 8.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 63.4 FG% in '17-'18

Non-conference schedule:

  • November 6 vs. CSUN
  • November 9 vs. San Diego Christian
  • November 13 at Oral Roberts
  • November 16 at Tulsa
  • November 19 at Nevada
  • November 23 at Arkansas-Pine Bluff
  • November 24 vs. Little Rock/Howard
  • November 29 at UC Riverside
  • December 1 vs. Mississippi Valley State
  • December 5 vs. UC Irvine
  • December 8 vs. Caltech
  • December 17 at Southeastern Louisiana
  • December 19 at Southern
  • December 29 vs. La Verne

North Alabama

Location: Florence, Alabama

Enrollment: 7,490 students

New conference: Atlantic Sun Conference (ASUN)

Previous conference: Gulf South (DII)

Coach: Tony Pujol

  • Hired in April 2018
  • Previously an assistant coach at Wyoming

Players to watch:

  • Kendall Stafford, guard/forward, Sr. – 15.6 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.9 apg, 45.8 3P% in '17-'18
  • Kendarius Smith, guard, Sr. – 14.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 3.4 apg, 38.5 3P% in '17-'18

Non-conference schedule:

  • November 6 at Samford
  • November 10 vs. Blue Mountain
  • November 13 at Saint Louis
  • November 17 at Pittsburgh
  • November 20 vs. Martin Methodist
  • November 24 at Troy
  • November 28 at Toledo
  • December 1 vs. Jacksonville State
  • December 4 at UAB
  • December 13 vs. Huntingdon
  • December 15 at UNC-Greensboro
  • December 18 at Jacksonville State
  • December 21 at VMI
  • December 28 at Gonzaga
  • December 30 at Eastern Illinois

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