It has been an adventurous season for the men in charge of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s offense and defense, and for different reasons.

Offensive coordinator Stephen Lee went from the euphoria of winning last year’s national title in his first season with the Crusaders to the arduous task of building an attack without an experienced veteran at his unit’s most important position.

On the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Larry Harmon took the top defense in the country last year and pushed it another rung up the ladder.

BELTON — College basketball used to be owned by big men who stationed themselves close to the hoop and dominated the lane. That’s not the case any longer, and it’s almost impossible for a team to win in today’s game if it can’t consistently hit the 3-point shot.

ABILENE — With the country’s stingiest defense that shows no signs of relenting and a quarterback conundrum that appears to have solved itself, No. 1-ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor is fueling up for another playoff run and what it hopes is a drive to a second straight NCAA Division III championship.