North Coast Athletic Conference men’s basketball coaches picked the Wittenberg Tigers first in the preseason poll released Thursday — by the smallest of margins.
Wittenberg earned three of the 10 first-place votes, receiving 91 points. Wooster, the defending regular-season champion, earned four first-place votes and was second with 90 points. Wabash received three first-place votes and was picked third with 89 points. DePauw, Ohio Wesleyan, Oberlin, Hiram, Allegheny, Denison and Kenyon followed.
Wittenberg finished 24-6 last season and won the NCAC tournament for the second straight season. It reached the second round of the NCAA tournament, losing 70-61 to Guilford.
The Tigers lost only one senior, Mitch Balser, and return four starters, including leading scorer Connor Seipel (17.7 points per game). They open the season Nov. 16 at Brooklyn (N.Y.) and play their home opener Nov. 23 against Mount St. Joseph.
National poll: Wittenberg ranks fifth in the D3Hoops.com men’s basketball top 25 poll, which was released Wednesday. Wabash is 14th. Wooster is 21st.
Women’s basketball: The Wittenberg women were picked to finish fourth in the NCAC preseason poll.
DePauw, the preseason favorite, received eight of nine first-place votes. Denison, which received one first-place vote, was picked second, and Kenyon was third. Following Wittenberg were Ohio Wesleyan, Oberlin, Hiram, Allegheny and Wooster.
Wittenberg opens the season Nov. 15 against Heidelberg in Erie, Pa., at the Penn StateBehrend Tournament. It plays Transylvania in its home opener at 2 p.m. Nov. 23.
Wittenberg returns three of its top four scorers: junior forward Kristie Kalis (12.5 points per game); junior guard Delaney Williams (10.0); and senior center Riley Culver (9.8).
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