With the graduation of three senior starters to the Golden Eagles squad the WHAC coaches gave Davenport University the nod in the WHAC pre-season coaches poll. Davenport returns an all-star cast in four of its top five scorers and rebounders from last year to sit atop the WHAC men's basketball preseason poll. Seniors Ronald Bates and Justin Yoder were both selected to the 10 member preseason all-conference poll.
#1 - Davenport (29-6/13-3) boasts a roster filled with decorated returners and a pair of seniors. James Nelson, a two-time second-team all-conference guard, averaged 13.8 points and 4.8 rebounds last year. James Humphrey earned honorable mention All-American honors with an 11.7 point and 5.4 rebound average as a forward. The pair is joined by sophomore forward JaVontae Ford who earned third-team league honors (10.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and Lonnie Fairfax, a senior guard who led the team in assists (127) and steals (69).
Head Coach - Burt Paddock (4 yrs: 72-27) Manchester '97
(34-4/14-2) returns two top scorers and eight players from last year's national championship team. Senior guards Justin Yoder
and Ronald Bates
accounted for 24 points per game and shot a combined 41% from behind the three-point line. Sophomore Wes Hudson
and junior Derek Kingshott
will provide much needed experience. The Golden Eagles will also rely on six incoming freshman to learn the system and make significant contributions early.
- Kim Elders
(18 yrs: 459-178) Grand Valley State '77
#3 - Indiana Tech
(22-11/10-6) will rely on the nation's leading offensive rebounder Rodney Bartholomew
(4.4 orpg, 11 rpg) to lead a group of talented newcomers. Bartholomew earned a slew of honors, including the WHAC's newcomer of the year, first-team All-Conference, and All-American honorable mention accolades. The Warriors bring in two junior college All-Americans and a couple of all-region selections.
Head Coach - Al Grushkin (7 yrs: 116-81/ 2 yrs: 22-11) Oglethorpe '75
- Concordia University
(17-15/8-8) return eight of its top 10 players from last year's squad headlined by Rocko Holmes
. The senior forward averaged the league's third-highest point total with16 ppg and added 7.5 rpg, and was a second-team All-Conference selection.
Head Coach - Ben Limback (9 yrs: 100-147) Concordia-Seward '89
- Aquinas College
(12-18/4-12) The Saints will rely heavily on an experienced group of recruits to help senior Jake Shockey
and junior Zach Eddy
. Both saw quality action in 30 games last seasons, but Aquinas will need both of them to step up this year to make a big impact.
Head Coach - Dave Hammer (9 yrs: 301-175) Central Michigan '70
- Lourdes University
(12-18) As the conference newcomer, the Gray Wolves will look to play spoiler in just their second year of competition. A slew of newcomers join three key returning players and will look to immediately build on the chemistry from their inaugral season.
Head Coach - Andre Smith (1 yr: 12-18) Youngstown State '95
- Madonna University
(8-22/6-10) The Crusaders return nine letterwinners from last year's squad including All-Newcomer selection Bobby Naubert
. The 5-10 guard averaged 10.7 points and 3.3 assists per game as a freshman.
Head Coach - Noel Emenhiser (2 yrs: 10-20) Madonna '06
- Siena Heights University
(15-16/8-8) Senior Zack Craig
headlines a group of returning juniors for the Saints. Three new juniors will lend experience as SHU looks to better its conference record.
Head Coach - Al Sandifer (5 yrs: 61-64) Siena Heights '79
- University of Northwestern Ohio
(11-21/4-12) Guard Jake Bolyard
returns for his second year after leading the conference in scoring with 22 points per game during his freshman season. UNOH added depth at the guard position with a couple of transfers.
Head Coach - Chris Adams (4 yrs: 53-70) Wittenberg '81
- University of Michigan-Dearborn
(9-21/5-12) Senior Doug Sharples
lands in the leader position as UMD hopes to mesh a couple of transfers with four key returners.
Head Coach - John Mackson (first year) Michigan State '00
to view the Preseason Rating with point totals.
Rodney Bartholomew, Indiana Tech
Rocko Homes, Concordia
James Nelson, Davenport
James Humphrey, Davenport
Jake Bolyard, UNOH
Chris Ware Indiana Tech
JaVonte Ford, Davenport
Bobby Naubert, Madonna