FREELAND, Mich. – In a preseason poll of eight Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association men's basketball coaches, Albion was predicted to finish first overall as the Britons garnered all seven possible first-place votes.
Albion, the 2019 MIAA automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship, totalled 49 points to finish ahead of second-place Trine, who received 43 points and the remaining first-place vote. Calvin (34 points) edged Hope (31 points) for third place, while Kalamazoo garnered 23 points to rank fifth ahead of Alma (21 points). Olivet (15 points) and Adrian (8 points) rounded out the poll.
Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams.
Albion (19-9, 10-4 in MIAA in 2018-19) features 2019 first-team All-MIAA selection Caden Ebeling, who returns for a fourth season with the Britons. Also back is fellow first-teammer Jamezell Davis, Jr., a junior guard.
Trine (19-8, 11-3) will look to top returnees Jangston Johnson, a senior guard, and Marcus Winters, also a senior guard that was named the MIAA Defensive MVP last season.
Calvin (14-13, 8-6) returns Derrick DeVries, a first-team All-MIAA selection. The senior wing averaged 17.9 points per game last year.
Hope (15-11, 8-6) will feature senior guard Riley Lewis in 2019-20; Lewis was a second-team All-MIAA pick last season after averaging 17.3 points per game.
The 209-20 men's basketball season gets underway Friday, Nov. 8 with Hope and Albion taking to the court. The first MIAA contest date of the season is set for Jan. 8 when all eight teams are in action to tip-off the double-round robin schedule.
The 2020 MIAA Men's Basketball Tournament will include six teams for the second consecutive year and will begin Tuesday, Feb. 25 with first round play; semifinals and the final will be hosted by the top seed Friday-Saturday, Feb. 28-29. The winner will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship.