The Mount St. Joseph University men's basketball team has been selected to finish second in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference this season.
The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference today released the annual preseason coaches' poll. The Lions were picked to finish just behind defending HCAC regular season and tournament champion Hanover College. Rounding out the top five are Rose-Hulman, Transylvania, and Anderson. All of the top five teams in the poll return important pieces from a season ago.
The Lions finished second in the HCAC last season in both the regular season and tournament. After defeating the Mount 58-51 in the conference tournament final, Hanover ended its season in the Elite 8 of the NCAA Division III national tournament. The Lions passed the 20-win plateau for the first time in program history in 2016-17 and garnered their first ever Top 25 ranking.
The Mount will be led in 2017-18 by a quintet of seniors who have logged extensive minutes over the past four years. First-team All-HCAC performer Andrew Finley (Cincinnati, OH/Walnut Hills) and his 16.3 PPG lead the Lions' offense that returns its top 5 scorers from a season ago. Finley will be joined in the backcourt by Jordan Henry (Lexington, KY/Bryan Station) and last year's HCAC freshman of the year Adam Goetz (Erlanger, KY/ St. Henry). The Lions front court will for the third year in a row be anchored by Erik Edwards (Cincinnati, OH/ Roger Bacon) and Tyler Manaugh (Madison, IN/ Madison).
Jake Cropper (Georgetown, OH/Georgetown), who has been the Lions' sixth man for much of the past two seasons, will return to lead a talented group off the bench. Joining Cropper on the wing will be Mr. Big Shot Conner Myslowski (Dayton, OH/West Carrolton), Liam Rabe (Lakeside Park, KY/Dixie), and Shaun Sullivan (Louisville, KY/DeSales). The Lions also boast a very impressive freshman class that is eight players strong.
With the returning talent the Lions possess to go along with a strong recruiting class and the steady hands of Head Coach Toby Carrigan, this is bound to be a special season of basketball at The Mount!
- Hanover: 99 (9)
- Mount St. Joseph: 88 (1)
- Transylvania: 73
- Rose-Hulman: 68
- Anderson: 67
- Manchester: 43
- Defiance: 33
- Franklin: 28
- Bluffton: 27
- Earlham: 24