Aurora men, CUW women tabbed preseason favorites by NAC basketball coaches
Northern Athletics Conference, Sports Information Department
MILWAUKEE, Wis. -- The preseason basketball coaches' polls were unveiled today at the Northern Athletics Conference Basketball Media Day held at Wisconsin Lutheran College's Recreation Complex in Milwaukee. Aurora University was tabbed to win the men's title, while Concordia University Wisconsin was selected to win the women's.
The AU Spartans received 10 of the 12 first place votes in the coaches' poll, and were selected to repeat as the men's champions. Last season the Spartans won a school record 25 games and posted a 25-3 record (16-2 NAC) which included the NAC regular season and tournament titles, and a trip to the NCAA DIII Championship Tournament.
Aurora is ranked 13th in the D3Hoops.com preseason Top 25 poll, and 17th in the DIII News poll.
The Spartans return four starters from last years squad, including Street and Smith preseason All-American and 2006-2007 Northern Athletics Conference Player of the Year Larry Welton (20 ppg and 6.7 rpg). Joining Welton in returning for the 07-08 season is senior forward Doug Lambert (9.5 ppg and 3.4 rpg), junior guard Chad Trudo (9.6 ppg and 47.1% from three-point range) and junior guard Dusty Magee (10.5 ppg and 41.3% from three-point range).
Edgewood College (18-8, 16-2 NAC) received the remaining two first place votes and was picked second in the men's poll. Dominican University (17-10, 12-6) was slotted third and MSOE (16-11) fourth. Rounding out the top half of the poll was Lakeland College (16-11, 12-6) and Wisconsin Lutheran College (15-11, 12-6), who tied for a fifth place finish in the poll.
The CUW Falcons received 9 of the 13 first place votes in the women's poll, and are picked to repeat at the NAC women's champions. Concordia Wisconsin is coming off one of the best seasons in school history, featuring a 23-4 record (18-1 NAC), the NAC regular season and tournament championships, and an appearance in the NCAA DIII Championship Tournament.
The Falcons return a lot of experience with four players who started at some point last season and more depth than in the past. Krista Mayyou is an All-NAC returnee and Asia Beckum was the 2006-07 NAC Rookie of the Year. Guard Erin Meier returns after missing much of last season with a leg injury. Defensive specialist Angie Davis will also join the squad after the volleyball season ends.
"Last year was a dream season but this is a new team with new goals," said Falcon head coach Stacey Brunner. "We want to repeat as conference champions, and that will take concerted team focus from day one."
Benedictine University (20-8, 14-5) was tabbed second in the women's preseason poll, and Wisconsin Lutheran College (15-11, 13-6) was selected third, receiving three first place votes. Aurora University (17-9, 14-5), which received the remaining first place vote, and Edgewood College (15-12, 13-6) were both picked fourth. Lakeland College (15-11, 12-7) was tabbed sixth, and Concordia University Chicago (11-14, 8-11) was picked seventh.