FLORENCE, Ky. -- The 2015-16 Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll has been announced, and IU East and Brescia (Ky.) University are the favorites to win the KIAC Colonial and Capital Divisions, respectively.
The preseason poll was conducted with voting from the 12 KIAC men's basketball head coaches. The teams were ranked according to the predicted finish in the KIAC Colonial and Capital Divisions as well as a prediction of the KIAC overall, regardless of division.
IU East, the defending KIAC Tournament champion at 26-8 overall, 11-2 KIAC last year, received 10 of 12 first-place votes to win the KIAC Colonial Division. Brescia (Ky.), a division champion at 19-12 and 10-3 KIAC last year, received 11 of 12 first-place votes to win the KIAC Capital Division.
IU East edged Brescia as the overall KIAC preseason favorite. The Red Wolves got six of 12 first-place votes on the overall ballot, whereas Brescia received three. Both teams advanced to the NAIA Division II national tournament out of the KIAC last year.
IU East returns All-KIAC forward Huston Clark, a 6-6 senior who averaged 13.5 ppg and 9.1 rpg last year. The Red Wolves have 10 of their top 11 players returning overall, including guard Vasha Davis (9.3 ppg).
Brescia welcomes back KIAC Player of the Year Austin Morris, a 6-7 forward who averaged 16.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg and a national-best 3.43 bpg. Jermain Langley (13.8) and Trey Howard (13.4 ppg) are other top returners.
In the KIAC Colonial Division, IU East received 70 of a possible 72 points in the voting. The University of Rio Grande (19-12, 6-7 KIAC) was picked to finish second in the division and garnered 58 points and the remaining two first-place votes. Rio Grande, which returns All-KIAC players D.D. Joiner (18.1 ppg) and Dwayne Bazemore (17.8 ppg, 10.0 rpg), was picked third overall in the KIAC.
Point Park (Pa.) University (16-13, 6-7 KIAC) was picked third in the KIAC Colonial with 46 points and is coming off an appearance in the KIAC Tournament finals, where it lost to IU East. The Pioneers, who return All-KIAC guard Jerah'me Williams (19.1 ppg, 6.9 apg), were chosen fourth overall in the KIAC. That gave the KIAC Colonial three of the top four predicted teams in the conference.
WVU Tech (23-10) is a conference newcomer and is picked fourth in the KIAC Colonial with 38 points. The Golden Bears return one starter from their A.I.I. Tournament runner-up and NAIA Division I national tournament appearance. The KIAC Colonial Division had conference newcomer Ohio Christian University (22-14) picked fifth with 26 points, and Carlow (Pa.) University (2-22, 0-13 KIAC) picked sixth with 14 points.
Brescia (Ky.) was the clear favorite in the KIAC Capital Division with 71 of a possible 72 points and 11 of 12 first-place votes. The Bearcats received 23 more votes than any other team in the division.
Asbury (Ky.) University (20-11, 8-5 KIAC) was picked second in the KIAC Capital Division with 48 points and fifth overall in the conference. The Eagles welcome back senior guard Kyle Lamb (16.4 ppg), an All-KIAC performer and the team's leading scorer, as well as forward Tyler Smith (12.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg).
Cincinnati Christian University (22-12, 8-5 KIAC) was picked third in the KIAC Capital with 44 points and sixth overall in the conference. The Eagles feature senior veterans Kenny Gaynor (13.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg), a 6-7 forward, and D.J. McCommons (10.0 ppg, 3.5 apg), a point guard.
Picked in a tie for fourth in the KIAC Capital Division are Alice Lloyd (Ky.) College (12-17, 7-6 KIAC) and IU Southeast (8-16, 5-8 KIAC). Alice Lloyd (Ky.), which returns double-figure scorers Tyler Rogers (13.8 ppg) and Tre Tiller (13.9 ppg), earned a first-place vote in the KIAC Capital, the only other team besides Brescia to do so. IU Kokomo (10-20, 4-10 KIAC) was picked sixth in the KIAC Capital Division.
The top four teams in each division qualify for the KIAC Tournament, an eight-team, single-elimination tournament. Follow KIAC Men's Basketball all season long online at KIACSports.com, on Twitter @KIACSports and on Facebook.com/KIACSports.
2015-16 KIAC MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON COACHES' POLL (Oct. 22, 2015)
(First-Place Votes in Parenthesis)
|KIAC Colonial Division||Votes|
|1. IU East (10)||70|
|2. Rio Grande (Ohio) (2)||58|
|3. Point Park (Pa.)||46|
|4. WVU Tech||38|
|5. Ohio Christian||26|
|6. Carlow (Pa.)||14|
|KIAC Capital Division||Votes|
|1. Brescia (Ky.) (11)||71|
|2. Asbury (Ky.)||48|
|3. Cincinnati Christian||44|
|T4. Alice Lloyd (Ky.) (1)||37|
|T4. IU Southeast||37|
|6. IU Kokomo||15|
2015-16 KIAC MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON COACHES' POLL (OCT. 22, 2015)
(First-Place Votes in Parenthesis)
|KIAC Overall Poll||Votes|
|1. IU East (6)||137|
|2. Brescia (Ky.) (3)||130|
|3. Rio Grande (Ohio) (2)||117|
|4. Point Park (Pa.)||88|
|5. Asbury (Ky.)||86|
|6. Cincinnati Christian||79|
|7. WVU Tech||77|
|8. IU Southeast||70|
|9. Alice Lloyd (Ky.) (1)||68|
|10. Ohio Christian||39|
|11. IU Kokomo||31|