Wittenberg Tabbed First in 2018-19 NCAC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll

Wittenberg Tabbed First in 2018-19 NCAC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll

NCAC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) released its 2018-19 Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll on Tuesday, Oct. 30, and Wittenberg was tabbed as the favorite according to the league coaches.

The Tigers anchored seven of the 10 first-place votes, compiling 97 points to secure the top spot. Wooster picked up the remaining three first-place votes, earning 93 points, while Ohio Wesleyan was positioned third with 74 points, Wabash took fourth with 65 points and Denison (63) claimed fifth just two points behind the Little Giants. Sixth place went to DePauw with 46 points while Oberlin (39), Hiram (38), Kenyon (20) and Allegheny (15) rounded out the 10-team field. 

Wittenberg capped off last season with a 27-3 overall record and a 16-2 mark in NCAC play, while claiming the 2017-18 NCAC crown and the conference tournament title. The Tigers earned a 91-61 victory over Misericordia in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Division III Tournament to advance into the second round. Wittenberg returns four starters from a season ago including Mitch Balser (Centerville, Ohio/Centervville)Jake Bertemes (Springfield, Ohio/Southeastern)Jordan Pumroy (Fairborn, Ohio/Fairborn) and Connor Seipel (Columbus, Ohio/Groveport Madison). Balser returns as Wittenberg’s leading scorer at 12.2 points per game after 2018 NCAC Defensive Player of the Year, Chad Roy (16 ppg), departed due to graduation.

Head coach, Matt Croci, was named the NCAC Men's Basketball Coach of the Year after the Tigers claimed their 11th conference title in program history last season.

The 2018-19 Men’s Basketball schedule kicks off Friday, Nov. 9, with Oberlin taking on La Verne in non-conference action. The first league game is slated for Wednesday, Nov. 14, with Denison taking on Oberlin in Granville, Ohio.

  

2018-19 NCAC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses, followed by total points)

1.

Wittenberg (7)

97

2.

Wooster (3) 

93

3.

Ohio Wesleyan

74

4.

Wabash

65

5. 

Denison

63

6.

DePauw

46

7.

Oberlin

39

8.

Hiram

38

9.

Kenyon

20

10.

Allegheny

15