KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With the MIAA basketball season just around the corner, today marks that time of year where players and coaches from all around the conference meet up at the College Basketball Experience in Kansas City to discuss the upcoming season.
In preseason polls, the Pittsburg State University women were picked to finish seventh by both the media and MIAA coaches, while the men were picked to finish eighth by coaches and ninth by the media. Meanwhile, the Missouri Southern State University women’s team was picked tie for ninth by coaches, and tenth by the media. The men’s team was picked to finish fourth by both the media and coaches.
The overall theme of the press conference was excitement, at the fact that teams are going to get to play a full season after last year’s conference-only season due to COVID.
Ronnie Ressel, Missouri Southern women’s basketball head coach, says, “You get the chance to learn a little bit. You get the chance to learn about your team a little bit as well, what you can do, what you can’t do before you get into play of conference, which you know, everyone in our league knows, it’s one of the best conferences in the country. I think it’s huge we get to play non-conference just to get the feel of it.”
Jeff Boschee, Missouri Southern men’s basketball head coach, says, “Being able to get on the road and travel a little bit before conference season starts and just having a little bit of time before you jump into the conference season, trying to get your lineup, know your players a little bit better and how you’re working together, and try to figure things out before conference play starts.”
Amanda Davied, Pittsburg State women’s basketball head coach, says, “I think that this year has just been drastically different for us as well. It’s really, our team chemistry, it just makes a difference. It’s what we talk about all the time is being on the same page, and we finally get to do some of those things.”
Kim Anderson, Pittsburg State men’s basketball head coach, says, “Last year was hard because you couldn’t really do much together as a team. You kinda had to stay away from each other, and this year, this fall, we’ve been able to do a lot of neat things. We’re really good at bowling, if anyone wants to bowl.”
After it was played at campus sites last season due to COVID-19, the MIAA Tournament will return to Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium on March 2-6 of 2022.