Three-time defending South Central Region champion Midwestern State earned a No. 22 ranking in the National Association of Basketball Coaches' Preseason Poll released last week.
The Mustangs advanced to their third consecutive Elite Eight last season rolling to a 29-4 record before succumbing to eventual national champion Western Washington in the national quarterfinals.
Midwestern returns five letter winners from last season's squad including seniors Kevin and Jeff Grayer and Chris Buttermore as well as sophomores Derrell Gibbs and Matt Gallagher.
The Mustangs have added a talented group of transfers in senior Corbin Thomas (Missouri State), juniors Monziago Williams (Western Texas), Eddie D'Haiti (Youngstown State), Derek Kaster (Glendale CC), Cam Adderley (Northeast CC) and Snap Peters (Lamar State-Port Arthur) as well as sophomore Keith Spellman (Western Texas).
MSU's signing class also includes freshmen Conner Geiser and Patrick Smith.
The Mustangs are one of three teams from the newly constituted South Central Region to receive mention in the poll joining No. 5 Metropolitan State (Colo.) and No. 7 Colorado Mines both out of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
Metro State advanced to the Elite Eight last season out of the Central Region with a 25-7 mark, while defending RMAC champion Colorado Mines closed the regular season at No. 1 in the nation with a 29-3 record.
West Liberty (W. Va.) opens the season at No. 1 followed by Franklin Pierce (N.H.), Findlay (Ohio), Washburn and Metro State to fill out the top 5.
The second five consists of Alabama-Huntsville, Colorado Mines, Western Washington, Bellarmine and Seattle Pacific (Wash.).
Winona State (Minn.) leads off the second 10 followed by Stonehill (Mass.), Christian Brothers (Tenn.), Bloomfield (N.J.), Florida Southern, Montevallo (Ala.), Southern Indiana, Chico State (Calif.), Northwest Missouri and Indianapolis (Ind.).
Barton (N.C.), MSU, Saint Leo (Fla.), East Stroudsburg (Pa.) and Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.) round out the poll at Nos. 21-25.
Midwestern State opens the season against Louisiana State-Shreveport at the Southwestern Oklahoma State Classic on Fri., Nov. 9 in Weatherford. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.