Belmont picked as OVC Men's, Women's Basketball preseason favorite

Belmont picked as OVC Men's, Women's Basketball preseason favorite

(KFVS) - The head men's basketball coaches in the Ohio Valley Conference along with sports information directors from the conference have picked Belmont as the preseason favorite for the 2017-18 season.

The Bruins have won four of the past five OVC regular season championships. Belmont received 235 total points in being picked first.

2017-18 OVC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll
  1. Belmont (18 first-place votes) – 235 points
  2. Jacksonville State (3) - 213
  3. Murray State (3) - 212
  4. Eastern Kentucky - 139
  5. Tennessee Tech - 137
  6. Eastern Illinois - 135
  7. Tennessee State - 125
  8. UT Martin - 114
  9. Morehead State - 89
  10. Southeast Missouri - 82
  11. Austin Peay - 63
  12. SIUE - 40

Murray State senior guard Jonathan Stark has been tabbed as the Preseason Player of the Year. Stark was a first-team All-OVC selection last year. He ranked 13th nationally in scoring with 21.9 points per game.

The Racers hope to bounce back after finishing the 2016-17 season with a losing record of 16-17.

Rick Ray will lead the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks for his third season with a nearly new roster. The Redhawks return just four players from their 9-7 OVC season, the first winning League record since 2011-12. Due to a NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) historic penalty, Southeast Missouri is ineligible for the OVC and NCAA Tournaments this year.

The University of Tennessee Martin Skyhawks will be led by Head Coach Anthony Stewart. Four players from the 2016-17 roster will lead the Skyhawks this season.

The 2018 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament will take place at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana Feb. 28-March 3.

2017-18 Preseason All-OVC Men’s Basketball Team
  1. Matthew Butler, UT Martin
  2. Malcolm Drumwright, Jacksonville State
  3. Amanze Egekeze, Belmont
  4. Norbertas Giga, Jacksonville State
  5. Asante Gist, Eastern Kentucky
  6. Aleksa Jugovic, Tennessee Tech
  7. Austin Luke, Belmont
  8. Denzel Mahoney, Southeast Missouri
  9. Nick Mayo, Eastern Kentucky
  10. Terrell Miller, Murray State
  11. Jonathan Stark, Murray State

Women's Basketball

Belmont has been picked to win the 2017-18 Ohio Valley Conference women's basketball title in a preseason poll of the league's head coaches and sports information directors.

2017-18 OVC Women's Basketball Predicted Order of Finish

  1. Belmont (22 first-place votes) - 242
  2. SIUE    - 199
  3. UT Martin (Two first-place votes) - 198
  4. Morehead State - 192
  5. Tennessee Tech - 133
  6. Austin Peay - 120
  7. Jacksonville State - 111
  8. Murray State - 101 (Tie)
  9. Southeast Missouri - 101 (Tie)
  10. Eastern Kentucky - 83
  11. Eastern Illinois - 64
  12. Tennessee State – 38

2017-18 Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference Women's Basketball Team 

  1. Ke'Shunan James, Murray State
  2. Darby Maggard, Belmont
  3. Kylee Smith, Belmont
  4. Grace Lennox, Eastern Illinois
  5. Yaktavia Hickson, Tennessee Tech
  6. Sally McCabe, Belmont
  7. Donshel Beck, SIUE
  8. Miranda Crockett, Morehead State
  9. Ashton Feldhaus, UT Martin
  10. Kendall Spray, UT Martin
  11. Myah Taylor, UT Martin

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