The Bellarmine University and University of Missouri-St. Louis men’s basketball teams have been selected to win the East and West Divisions, respectively, for the upcoming 2012-13 Great Lakes Valley Conference season, it was announced by the conference office Wednesday. The annual GLVC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll was voted on by the league coaches and ranks the top-eight teams in each of the conference’s two divisions.
Led by 2011-12 GLVC co-Coach of the Year Scott Davenport, Bellarmine enters the 2012-13 campaign as the favorite to win the East, earning 114 total points and 10 of 16 first-place votes. The Knights, who were recently ranked No. 9 nationally by Division II Bulletin, are coming off an East Division-best 16-2 league record and a 29-4 season where they earned the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional title to advance to the Elite Eight and national semifinals. Bellarmine will have its sights set on making a third straight appearance in the Elite Eight this year, which will be held at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky., just minutes from the BU campus.
Missouri-St. Louis looks to improve on a 19-9 season, which earned head coach Steve Tappmeyer the other half of the GLVC Coach of the Year award. The Tritons, who earned 113 points and eight first-place votes in the poll, captured the West Division crown last season with a 13-5 conference mark. UMSL will be tested this year both in and out of divisional play, as the Tritons will square off against cross-divisional foes Bellarmine, Kentucky Wesleyan and Southern Indiana, all of whom made the NCAA Tournament last year.
Defending GLVC Champion Southern Indiana has been picked to finish second in the East, falling just 10 points shy of Bellarmine, but acquiring five first-place votes as well. The Screaming Eagles finished 24-7 last year, including 12-6 in conference action, and enter the season ranked 17th nationally by Division II Bulletin.
Kentucky Wesleyan (23-8, 12-6 GLVC) and Indianapolis (20-9, 12-6) tied for third in the GLVC East with USI last season and enter this year ranked third and fourth with 89 and 88 points, respectively. Lewis (17-12, 8-10) opens the slate ranked fifth by the coaches with 65 points, while Saint Joseph’s (8-18, 3-15) and UW-Parkside (8-18, 1-17) were picked to tie for sixth in the East, having each earned 41 points. McKendree, which is set to compete in its first season in the GLVC, earned 26 points and was picked to finish eighth in the division.
Coming off a 17-11 record and a 10-8 mark which left them fourth in the West, Drury enters the 2012-13 campaign just three points shy of being a co-favorite to win the divisional crown. The Panthers accumulated 110 points and seven first-place votes to rank second in the poll.
Quincy (18-9, 11-7) earned the remaining first-place tally, coming in third with 89 points. Illinois Springfield (15-13, 12-6) and Maryville (13-14, 6-12) totaled 69 and 63 points to earn the fourth and fifth positions, respectively, while William Jewell (9-17, 5-13) was picked to finished sixth with 46 points. Missouri S&T (7-20, 6-12) garnered 41 markers to place seventh in the poll, while Rockhurst (7-19, 4-14) rounded out the West in eighth with 37 points.
The 2012-13 GLVC men’s basketball season opens Friday, Nov. 9, with Illinois Springfield, Kentucky Wesleyan and Missouri-St. Louis in action.
2012-13 GLVC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll – EAST DIVISION
1. Bellarmine (10) 114
2. Southern Indiana (5) 104
3. Kentucky Wesleyan (1) 89
4. Indianapolis 88
5. Lewis 65
T-6. Saint Joseph’s 41
T-6. UW-Parkside 41
8. McKendree 26
2012-13 GLVC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll – WEST DIVISION
1. Missouri-St. Louis (8) 113
2. Drury (7) 110
3. Quincy (1) 89
4. Illinois Springfield 69
5. Maryville 63
6. William Jewell 46
7. Missouri S&T 41
8. Rockhurst 37
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