Oct. 26, 2011
Northwest tabbed No. 5 in MIAA Coaches PollMARYVILLE, Mo. – Northwest Missouri State was selected to finish fifth in the preseason 2011-12 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Coaches Poll released by the league office Monday.
Head Coach Ben McCollum’s Bearcats received 64 points, which was the same total as Pittsburg State. Only six points separate No. 3 through No. 5, as Fort Hays State was picked third with 70 points followed by Washburn at No. 4 with 68 points.
Defending regular-season champion Missouri Southern was picked to repeat as conference champions taking home seven first-place votes. Central Missouri earned the remaining four first-place votes and picked second, as coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
Missouri Southern took 11 first-place votes while Central Missouri picked up one first-place vote and was tabbed second in the media poll. Fort Hays State was tabbed third and Washburn fourth while the Bearcats were picked fifth by the media as well, however Northwest received one first place vote.
Missouri Western received 77 points with the Bearcats to tie for fifth followed by Pittsburg State at No. 7 and Emporia State at No. 8. Checking in at No. 9 in the media poll is Southwest Baptist with Truman at No. 10 and Lincoln at No. 11.
Northwest finished 10th in a 12-team league last year as a new look MIAA features 11 basketball playing schools this season. The Bearcats finished 10-16 and 8-14 in conference play a year ago, but return six players from last year’s squad including DeShaun Cooper and Bryston Williams, after a year absence.
The Bearcats open Nov. 6 in exhibition action at Iowa and have their regular season opener at UMKC on Nov. 11. The home action starts Nov. 15 when the Bearcats host Waldorf College with a 7 p.m. tip.
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