The Missouri Southern Lions received six first place votes and 157 total points to earn the top spot in the MIAA Coaches Preseason Polls.
Southern finished the 2017-18 in second place in the conference with a 20-10 overall record and 15-4 in MIAA play. They will return three starters from last season including two All-MIAA athletes in Elyjah Clark and Kinzer Lambert along with six total letter winners.
“It’s good for our players,” said Lions head coach, Jeff Boschee about being picked 1st. “You know, you read into it as much as you want. I think our players, hopefully, it will be told to them that you still have to go out and play the game of basketball. You know [the poll] is based on what we have coming back and what we were able to do last year, has a lot to do with it.”
The Pitt State Gorillas earned enough points for a tie for 5th with the University of Central Oklahoma. The Gorillas welcome back second-year head coach Kim Anderson along with three starters and six letter winners from last year’s team.
“We’re excited about the chemistry of this team because I think there’s eight or nine guys that can play, and they know they’re going to play. And then I think there’s some guys that understand that they got to get better,” said Anderson about his 2018-19 squad.
Missouri Southern will start their season on November 9th at the MIAA/NSIC Challenge in Mankato, Minnesota against St. Cloud State. Pitt State will have two exhibition games against Oklahoma (11/1) and Kansas State (11/2) before starting their regular season on November 9th at the MIAA/GAC/NSIC Challenge in Warrensburg, Missouri against Wayne State.