The preseason accolades keep piling up on coach Johnny Estelle and the Navarro Runnin' Bulldogs.

They were ranked No. 6 in the NJCAA's inaugural basketball poll released Monday, a week after they were nearly unanimous choices to repeat as Region XIV East Zone champions at last week's media days in Tyler.

"These polls, they're just a way to get the juices flowing," Estelle said last week. "I don't think we're deserving yet. We have to get our chemistry straight."

Midland College and Region V foe Howard College, last year's national champion from Big Spring, were ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in the polls, respectively.

San Jacinto, picked to win Region XIV's South Zone at media days, was the only other region opponent in the poll at No. 11.

McClennan College and South Plains College in Levelland rounded out Texas schools in the poll, appearing at Nos. 19 and 22, respectively.

Nine of the 16 teams that qualified for last year's national tournament in Hutchinson, Kan., were ranked in the poll. They were: Howard, Northwest Florida State (No. 5), Navarro, Connors State (No. 7), Eastern Utah (No. 9), Walters State (No. 15), Three Rivers CC (No. 23), Monroe (No. 28), and East Mississippi (No. 29).

The Runnin’ Bulldogs finished 30-7 last season and won the Region XIV title for the second straight year. They advanced to the national semifinals before falling to eventual runner-up Three Rivers and finished fourth in the tournament.

NJCAA Preseason Basketball poll

School    Region    ‘09 record

1. Midland    5    30-3

2. Howard    5    33-2

3. North Idaho    18    27-5

4. Hutchinson    6    27-6

5. NW Fla. St.    8    30-5

6. Navarro    14    30-7

7. Connors St.    2    30-4

8. Chipola    8    19-9

9. Eastern Utah    18    27-10

10. West Plains    16    20-10

11. San Jacinto    14    25-6    

12. John A. Logan    24    24-7

13. Cochise    1    26-5

14. Indian Hills CC    11    25-8

15. Walters State    7    22-10

16. Arizona Western    1    24-8

17. McClennan    5    27-5

18. Moberly    16    25-6

19. SW Tennesee    7    16-11

20. Vincennes    12    22-10

21. Shelton State    22    29-4

22. South Plains    5    18-11

23. Three Rivers    16    30-7

24. Southern Idaho    18    20-12

25. Pearl River    23    24-5

26. SW Illinois    24    24-7

27. Harcum    19    26-3

28. Monroe    15    29-8

29. E. Mississippi    23    27-7

30. Casper    9    24-9

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