Oct. 28, 2008
Men Picked to Finish Fifth in MIAA Preseason Coaches' Poll
MARYVILLE, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State, the 2008 MIAA tournament champion, has been picked to finish fifth in the 2008-09 MIAA Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll as announced Tuesday during the league's media luncheon at the Marriott Hotel in Kansas City.
Southwest Baptist received eight of 11 first-place votes and is the coaches' pick to repeat as conference champions. The purple Bearcats were 22-8 overall, 14-4 in the MIAA, and return junior center Matt Rogers, the league's Defensive Player of the Year and first-team all-MIAA pick.
Central Missouri was picked to finish second followed by MIAA-newcomer Nebraska-Omaha and NCAA-qualifier Fort Hays State.
Northwest finished 24-8 a year ago and made its eighth NCAA tournament appearance in the last nine seasons. The Bearcats advanced to the round of 32 before falling to eventual regional champion Central Oklahoma.
Northwest finished two games back of Southwest Baptist in second place in the MIAA standings. The team then beat Pittsburg State, Washburn and Emporia State to win its fourth MIAA tournament title.
The Bearcats return two starters and four letterwinners, including 2006-07 MIAA Player of the Year Hunter Henry, who led Northwest with 13.6 points and 7.6 rebounds as a junior last season. Henry needs 64 points to crack the top 10 in career scoring at Northwest and 13 rebounds to crack the top five.
Northwest opens its 2008-09 campaign Nov. 18 against Peru State in Maryville.
2008-09 MIAA Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Southwest Baptist (8) 98
2. Central Missouri (1) 82
3. Nebraska-Omaha (2) 81
4. Fort Hays State 74
5. Northwest Missouri State 56
6. Washburn 55
7. Missouri Southern 44
8. Emporia State 38
9. Pittsburg State 32
10. Missouri Western 29
11. Truman 16
Points awarded on an 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
Coaches could not vote for their own school.
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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