Wittenberg men's basketball has been tabbed the favorites for the 2019-20 North Coast Athletic Conference basketball season, based on balloting from league coaches.
Wittenberg, in search of its 13th NCAC title, earned three of the possible 10 first-place votes cast by the coaches to top the poll with 91 points. Defending-champion Wooster, which leads the league with 18 titles all-time, collected four first-place votes to finish second, just one point behind the Tigers (90 points). Wabash garnered the remaining three first-place votes for 89 points and a third-place showing. DePauw placed fourth with 62 points; Ohio Wesleyan took fifth with 55 points. Sixth place went to Oberlin with 45 points, while Hiram (38), Allegheny (37), Denison (28) and Kenyon (15) rounded out the 10-team field.
The Wittenberg Tigers, two-time defending NCAC Tournament champions, return four starters from their 2018-19 squad that finished the season with an overall record of 24-6 and a 14-4 mark in NCAC play. Senior forward Connor Seipel (Columbus, OH/Groveport, Madison) headlines the returnees after claiming All-NCAC first-team honors a season ago, averaging 17.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Senior guards Jake Bertemes (Springfield, OH/Southeastern) and Jordan Pumroy (Fairborn, OH/Fairborn) and junior forward James Johnson (Cincinnati, OH/Roger Bacon) also return for the Red and White. Bertemes, who was tabbed as an honorable-mention selection in 2018, averaged 11.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game in 2018-19, while Johnson posted 11.2 points and 1.3 assists per game and Pumroy put up 7.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game last season.
The 2019-20 season begins on Saturday, November 9, while the first league game is slated for Wednesday, November 20. The NCAC Tournament will be held at the end of February with quarterfinals scheduled for February 25 and the semifinals and championship on February 28 and 29.
2019-20 North Coast Athletic Conference