For the first time since the 2011-12 season, a Miami player has made the preseason Mid-American Conference All-East Division team.
Senior forward Will Felder, who earned honorable mention on last season’s All-MAC team, was named to this year’s preseason squad in a poll of the 25-member MAC News Media Panel that was released by the conference office on Tuesday.
The RedHawks, who finished last season 9-22 overall and 3-13 in the MAC to come in sixth in the six-team East, were picked to again finish sixth in the division.
Senior guard Hannah Robertson was named to the women’s East Division team, which was determined by a poll of MAC coaches. Robertson is Miami’s top returning scorer after averaging 9.6 points last season. The RedHawks were picked to finish fourth in the East.
The 6-foot-7, 207-pound Felder, a fifth-year senior from Cleveland Lutheran East, led Miami in rebounding with an average of 5.3 per game and led the RedHawks in scoring and rebounding against MAC opponents with averages of 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. He ranked fifth in the conference with a 52.1 field-goal percentage, 53.4 in conference games.
Felder is one of four returning starters for the RedHawks, who are scheduled to play Northwood (Mich.) – an NCAA Division II team that plays in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference – 7 p.m. tonight in an exhibition game at Millett Hall. The other three returning starters all are guards – senior Quinten Rollins, junior Will Sullivan and sophomore Reggie Johnson.
“When you look at where we were picked, obviously there’s nowhere to go but up,” second-year Miami coach John Cooper said. “You’ll hear me say it years from now – teams aren’t made on the preseason. For me it’s more important where we are at the end of the season. It’s more important that we get better as a team. It just shows you how we are thought of right now, and we have a long way to go.
“I’m certainly happy for Will Felder that he was recognized, but, as preseason polls go, now you have to show it. I think there was respect given to him for the year he had last year. Hopefully it gives him confidence as we move forward, but we’ll see who is on those teams at the end of the year. I believe typically the teams who do better are the ones who earn the right to get players on those teams.
Admission to tonight’s game against the Timberwolves is free. Miami is scheduled to open the regular season Nov. 8 at Notre Dame. The RedHawks home opener is scheduled for 3 p.m. Nov. 23 against Wilmington.
Akron was picked to defend its East Division championship and win a second consecutive tournament championship, while Toledo was projected to dethrone Western Michigan in the West. Akron has won three of the last five tournament championships and each of the last two regular-season championships.
The projected East Division standings after Akron were Buffalo, Ohio, Kent State, Bowling Green and Miami. Western Michigan was picked to finish second in the West, followed by Eastern Michigan, Ball State, Central Michigan and Northern Illinois.
Buffalo senior Javon McRea and junior Will Regan and Akron seniors Demetrius Treadwell and Quincy Riggs join Felder on the East team. Toledo senior Rian Pearson and junior Julius Brown, Western Michigan senior Shayne Whittington, Ball State senior Majok Majok and Eastern Michigan senior Glenn Bryant comprise the West team.