OKWU men’s basketball tops KCAC preseason polls

KCAC Communications

WICHITA, Kan. – Following the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Media Day, votes were tabulated for both the KCAC Media and Coaches Preseason Polls. Oklahoma Wesleyan University takes the top spot in each poll, with 15 first place votes in the Media Poll and 11 in the Coaches Poll.

In the Media Poll, Oklahoma Wesleyan tops Southwestern College by 21 points. The Moundbuilders tallied 219 votes and three first place votes, while Friends University earned 193 votes and the final first place vote. Kansas Wesleyan University is voted fourth by the media with 171 total points.

The Coaches Poll gives a 10-point edge to the Eagles over the Builders for first place with 11 and two first place votes, respectively. Friends and Kansas Wesleyan finished in a tie for third place with 107 points, while York College is fifth with 96 points.

The Eagles defeated the Builders in the KCAC Championship game, 84-74, before moving on to defeat Bethel (Ind.), 83-75 in overtime in the first round of the NAIA DII Men’s Basketball Tournament. Oklahoma Wesleyan would then fall to IU East in the second round, 77-82 in double overtime, ending their season 26-9 overall.

The Eagles return NAIA DII Men’s Basketball Honorable Mention All-Americans, KJ Malveau and Isaak Rowe for the 2018-19 season. Malveau led the Eagles in scoring at 15.2 points per game and also shot 44 percent from behind the three-point line. Rowe averaged 12.3 points per game and 7.9 rebounds per game, and recorded nine double-doubles on the season.

Cameron Hunt returns for Southwestern, coming off a junior campaign where he led the Builders with 23.31 points per game, 3.66 assists per game, and 0.83 steals per game. Hunt was ranked third in the NAIA a season ago in total scoring (816), and sixth in points per game. Southwestern is coming off of a 27-8 season, where they were crowned KCAC Regular Season champions. The Builders made it to the second round of the NAIA DII Men’s Basketball tournament, defeating Roosevelt, 65-55, in the first round before falling to Cornerstone, 73-92.

2018-2019 KCAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Media Poll

1Oklahoma Wesleyan University (15)240
2Southwestern College (3)219
3Friends University (1)193
4Kansas Wesleyan University171
5Tabor College154
6York College143
7University of Saint Mary128
8Ottawa University124
9Avila University114
10McPherson College93
11Sterling College69
12Bethany College52
13Bethel College29

2018-2019 KCAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll

1Oklahoma Wesleyan University (11)143
2Southwestern College (2)133
T3Friends University107
T3Kansas Wesleyan University107
5York College96
6Ottawa University95
7Tabor College73
8University of Saint Mary70
9Avila University62
10McPherson College53
11Sterling College38
12Bethany College22
13Bethel College15