October 21, 2008
USI tied for first in GLVC West poll
Eagles picked to win league crown for fifth time in six years
Complete GLVC release on the preseason poll
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The University of Southern Indiana men's basketball team and Drury University were tabbed as the favorites to win the GLVC West Division in a poll of the league coaches released today. This is the fifth time in six years that the Screaming Eagles have been picked to win a conference regular season title.
USI and Drury each received 23 points and three first place votes. The pair was followed by Quincy University, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Rockhurst University, and Missouri University Science & Technology.
In the East Division, Kentucky Wesleyan College edged out Northern Kentucky University and Lewis University for the top spot with 32 points and three first place votes. NKU was second with 31 points and two first place votes, while Lewis was third with 30 points and two first place votes.
The bottom half of the East Division was predicted to be Bellarmine University in fourth, Saint Joseph's College in fifth, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in sixth, and the University of Indianapolis in seventh.
USI will be working toward its fourth GLVC crown in the last five seasons under the guidance of Head Coach Rick Herdes. The Eagles, which finished last season with a 15-12 overall record and 9-10 league mark, returns two starters and six lettermen from a year ago.
Senior forward Anthony Pimble (Bronx, New York) leads the cast of returners and has been named a Street & Smith's College Basketball honorable mention preseason All-American for 2008-09. Pimble averaged 11.4 points and 4.1 rebounds last season.
USI will open the regular season at the Disney Division II Tip-Off Classic and will be looking for their fourth championship in five appearances at the preseason tournament. The Eagles play the University of Evansville November 1 in an exhibition game before going to Florida
Drury is the reigning GLVC Champion having claimed the conference crown over Lewis last season on an overtime tip-in at the buzzer. The Panthers, led by Head Coach Steve Hesser, return three starters from last season's championship squad and six letterwinners in all.
The Panthers enter the 2008-09 campaign as one of two GLVC clubs ranked in the Division II Bulletin Top 25. Drury is ranked 17th in the publication's top 25, joining Northern Kentucky which is ranked fourth in the country.
KWC, under Head Coach Todd Lee, vaulted to the top of the league standings in 2007-08 and finished with a 24-8 record and 14-5 mark in the GLVC. The Panthers, despite the departure of GLVC Player of the Year Jeff Fahnbulleh, will have a strong nucleus of returning players as they look for back-to-back division crowns.
Included in the Panthers' returning players is honorable mention preseason All-American T.J. Smith. The senior guard averaged 13.6 points and a league-best 6.9 assists per game a year ago for Kentucky Wesleyan.
The 2008-09 men's basketball season will begin on Nov. 15 for the majority of GLVC teams. Conference play will start on Dec. 4 The GLVC Championship, featuring the league's top eight teams, will be hosted on March 6-8 at the home site of the league's top seed.
The complete 2008-09 GLVC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll follows:
Team (First-place votes)
1. Drury (3)
Southern Indiana (3)
4. Missouri-St. Louis
6. Missouri S&T
Team (First-place votes)
1. Kentucky Wesleyan (3)
2. Northern Kentucky (2)
3. Lewis (2)
5. Saint Joseph's
For more information about the GLVC and each conference member, please visit www.glvcsports.org.
Ray Simmons, USI Sports Information