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Wooster Tops Men's Hoops Preseason Poll

Wooster junior Reece Dupler (L) & senior Spencer Williams (R)
Wooster junior Reece Dupler (L) & senior Spencer Williams (R)

2017-18 NCAC Preseason Basketball Coaches' Polls

The Wooster men's basketball team has been tabbed as the favorites for the 2017-18 North Coast Athletic Conference basketball season, based on balloting from the league coaches.

Wooster, which is in search of its 18th NCAC men's title overall and its first outright crown since 2014, earned six of the first-place votes cast by the men's coaches to top the poll with 96 points, while three-time defending champion Ohio Wesleyan collected the final four first-place votes and finished second overall with 93 points. Wittenberg, which last won the league title in 2010, finished third overall with 73 points, followed by Denison (59), Wabash (57), Hiram (55), DePauw (44), Kenyon (37), Allegheny (25) and Oberlin (11). 

The Fighting Scots, who won the NCAC Tournament title last winter, return three starters off their 2016-17 squad that finished the regular season with an overall mark of 21-8 and extended their Div. III record by qualifying for the NCAA Tournament for the 15th year in a row. Senior guard Spencer Williams (Warrensville Hts., OH/Orange) headlines the returnees as a two-time All-NCAC honoree, while junior guard Reece Dupler (Newark, OH/Lakewood), who also earned All-NCAC honors last year, gives the Scots a formidable one-two punch in the backcourt. Williams, who has accumulated 1,164 points over his first three seasons, averaged 14.5 points per game last year, while Dupler averaged 13.0 points and 2.0 assists per game. The Scots will look for production in the blocks from senior forward Alex Baptiste (Allones, France/Wasatch Acad., UT) and junior forward Eric Bulic (Brunswick, OH/Brunswick) who combined for 359 rebounds and 56 blocked shots last season. After playing a key role off the bench last season, sophomore guard Danyon Hempy (Waldo, OH/River Valley) is expected to increase his production this year as one of the Scots' key perimeter players. Wooster head coach Steve Moore is back on the sidelines for his 31st-straight season with the Scots. In 30 total season at Wooster, he has amassed an overall record of 713-167 (.810), while his overall career record sits at 800-232 (.775) in 36 total seasons, making him just the second coach in Div. III history to eclipse the 800-win mark.

The 2017-18 season begins on Wednesday, November 15, while the NCAC Tournament will be held at the end of February with the men’s and women’s semifinals and championships at the site of the respective high seeds on February 23rd and 24th.

2017-18 North Coast Athletic Conference Preseason
Men's Basketball Coaches' Polls
(first-place votes in parentheses, followed by total points)

1. Wooster (6) 96
2. Ohio Wesleyan (4) 93
3. Wittenberg 73
4. Denison 59
5. Wabash 57
6. Hiram 55
7. DePauw 44
8. Kenyon 37
9. Allegheny 25
10. Oberlin 11