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2018-19 SLIAC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll

Coming off the program's second ever SLIAC Tournament title the Greenville Panthers are picked as the preseason favorites in the 2018-19 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Coaches Poll. The Panthers received five first-place votes in what is expected to be a two-way race at the top with Westminster College.

Josias Parker

Greenville totaled 75 points in the poll and bring back all five starters and 17 players from last year's team that once again led NCAA Division III in scoring (126.0 ppg). Head Coach George Barber guided the Panthers to a 19-9 overall record last season and can hand the reigns over to senior guard Johari Dix on the court. Dix, a First Team All-Conference member, averaged 19.7 points and 5.3 assists per game; ranking 3rd in the SLIAC in assists and 1st in steals. Sophomore forward Marvin Bateman was impressive in his first collegiate season, leading the league with 89 three-pointers. Also back are seniors Josias Parker (8.3 ppg) and Isiah Price (10.9 ppg) as well as junior Rakim Murphy (16.8 ppg). Newcomers include Kieshaun Young Jones, Eric Williams, and Jordan Yates.

Carter Wands

Westminster picked up 74 points including three first-place votes in the poll to come in 2nd. The Blue Jays, coached by Matt Mitchell, were 14-12 overall and 10-8 in the conference last season. They bring back nine players, of which four are starters including All-Conference players Carter (Second Team) and Kobe (First Team) Wands. Kobe led the team in scoring at 20.7 points per game last season, hitting 40-percent of his three-point shots while Carter averaged 7.2 points per game while dishing out 5.3 assists per game. Former All-Conference forward Romo Tabb returns after a year away; averaging 15.8 points per game his last time on the court for the Blue Jays. Collin Caywood gives the Blue Jays another long-range option, hitting 61 three's, while Stu Hollandsworth will be the man in the middle after averaging 12.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game last season. Newcomer Jak Kitchens should fit into the rotation.

Enrique Tankins

Webster University received one first-place vote, totaling 62 points in the poll. The Gorloks went 13-12 overall and return nine players with three starters from last year's squad. Coach Chris Bunch is hoping last year's experience helps the growth of his team that features just one senior. 2018 SLIAC Newcomer of the Year Nigel Wilcox is one of the top big men in the league after averaging 19.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game while leading the league in blocked shots. Josh Johnson was second on the team in scoring last season (13.5 ppg) while the athletic Enrique Tankins fills out the backcourt after putting up 9.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game last year. Rodson Etienne averaged 7.7 points per game while shooting 54-percent from the field. The Gorloks welcome in a trio of transfers that include Jordan Clay, Aron Hopp, and Ethan Hughes.

Karson Hayes

Coming in 4th place in the poll is Blackburn College. The Beavers picked up 51 total points including the final first-place vote from the coaches. The Beavers took the league by surprise last year, jumping from 9th in the preseason poll to tying for the 3rd best conference record. Head Coach Steve Kollar returns three starters from last year's team that finished 15-12 overall. He returns a strong backcourt that features Nigel Ferrell, Karson Hayes, and Duncan King; a trio that started a combined 71 games last season. Ferrell averaged 8.8 points per game while earning SLIAC All-Defensive Team honors while King averaged 13.7 points and 3.2 assists per game. Hayes led the team in scoring at 14.4 points per game and was named Third Team All-Conference. Bryson Kirby, who knocked down 37 three's, is back for his sophomore season while senior Jamaya Wyatt averaged 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game last year. Raushaun Amos, Will Pearce, and Cristian Wagner are new to the team and will see time on the court for the Beavers.

Hank Thomas

Eureka College received 45 points in the poll, for 5th place. The Red Devils went 18-8 overall and 13-5 in the SLIAC last season. Head Coach Chip Wilde must replace SLIAC Player of the Year Shea Feehan but has experienced players that will be counted on to fill those minutes. Eureka brings back three starters including Dakota Bennington and Hank Thomas. Bennington, a junior, joined the team in the second-half of the season and averaged 16.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Thomas, a senior guard, averaged 17.4 points per game while connecting on 55 three's.

Brendan Holt

Spalding University received 41 total points, coming in 6th place on the poll. The Golden Eagles were 9-15 overall last season under head coach Kevin Gray and bring back four starters. Heading up the list of returners is junior guard Dominique Ellis. Ellis earned Second Team All-Conference honors after averaging 15.5 points per game whie shooting 43-percent from three-point range. Sophomores Robert Bendingfield, Breaden Holt, and Cornelius Watts all started at least 16 games as true freshman last year and will carry that experience into this season. Troy Amanor, Craig Ashe, and Jerry Coleman will add to the Spalding depth.

Brennan Paulson

The Principia Panthers received 37 points after going 10-14 overall last season and 9-9 in SLIAC play. The Panthers graduated two prominent inside players (Parker Davidson and Jeff Ross) and will turn to a more guard laden lineup. TreVaughn Goodman, a junior, has shown to be one of the more natural scorers in the league and averaged 19.9 points per game last season. Micah Paulson was named Second Team All-Conference last year after leading the team in scoring at 21.7 points per game and finishing 4th in the conference in three's made. Brennan Paulson and Payton Sellers both played over 20-minutes per game last year and will be expected to continue their growth. Head Coach Todd Zimmerman brings in freshmen Nathan Brantingham, Clark Davidson, and Kevin Wingert to work into the lineup.

Kris McCann

In 8th place is Fontbonne University with 28 points. The Griffins are coached by Lance Thornhill and finished last year 5-20 overall. They return four starters from last year's team including their top three scorers. Kris McCann serves as the team's top playmaker after averaging 16.7 points and 4.9 assists per game. Luke DeLine should be fully healthy after returning from injury last season and averaging 16.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Jared Woodcock put up 11.9 points per game as a freshman while shooting 50-percent from the field. Among the 18 newcomers joining the team are Caden Clark, Alex Movila, and Carter Otwell.

Derek Bourke

MacMurray College received 22 points for 9th place. The Highlanders were 13-12 overall last year under head coach Todd Creal. Coach Creal will essentially have a brand new team this year, returning just four players on his roster of 23 which includes 13 freshmen. Returners Derek Bourke, Drew Burwinkel, Hunter Flesner, and Wade Fox will be counted on to provide the experience as the young squad finds their footing. Included in the large class of freshmen are Logan Dorethy, Chasten Hughes, and Noah Mendenhall.

Austin Banks

Completing the poll is Iowa Wesleyan University with 15 total points. The Tigers went 5-20 overall last season. Although they lost their top three scorers head coach Alex Huisman returns 15 players. Jake Neubauer, a guard, is the team's top leading returning scorer at 10.2 points per game. Austin Banks, Jarryd Fernandes, Camron Mack, and Austin Rebel all averaged at least 5.0 points per game last season and will be counted on to increase their scoring output this year. Sophomore newcomers Brian Patterson, a guard, and Alberto Torres, a forward, will get a chance to see plenty of minutes.

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