MSU hoops: preseason LSC polls released

Brandon Neal leads six seniors for the Mustang men in 2017-18 / Source: KAUZ
Brandon Neal leads six seniors for the Mustang men in 2017-18 / Source: KAUZ

Men selected 4th in preseason conference poll

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Midwestern State is picked to finish fourth in the 2017-18 Lone Star Conference race according to the annual preseason poll of the league's coaches, sports information directors and selected media.
 
The Mustangs have claimed at least a share of four of the six LSC championships since the start of non-divisional play heading into the 2011-12 season posting a combined record of 135-50 (.730) including a 68-28 run (.708) in conference play.
 
MSU received one first-place votes and totaled 168 points coming in behind favorites UT Permian Basin (269 points, 19 first-place vote), West Texas A&M (234 points, 5 first-place votes) and Tarleton State (231 points, 3 first-place votes).
 
Texas A&M-Kingsville came at fifth with 150 points followed by Angelo State (148), Texas A&M-Commerce (117), Cameron (110), Eastern New Mexico (84) and Western New Mexico (29).
 
UT Permian Basin senior Daeshon Francis is the league's preseason player of the year after leading the Falcons to their first LSC title averaging 18.2 points per game. He was the D2CCA South Central Player of the Year in 2017-18.

Midwestern State plays its lone exhibition game against Oklahoma City on Monday, Oct. 30th at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. There will be no radio or video stream service for the game.

Current ticket holders have until Friday, Nov. 3 to renew their seats for the 2017-18 season. After that, tickets will be open for purchase to the general public. Tickets costs are $190 for floor seats, $170 for loge seats (gold) and $130 for end zone seats.

2017-18 Lone Star Conference Preseason Poll

Preseason Player of the Year
Daeshon Francis, UT Permian Basin

Place Team (1st-place votes) Total
1 UT Permian Basin (19) 269
2 West Texas A&M (5) 234
3 Tarleton State (3) 231
4 Midwestern State (1) 168
5 Texas A&M-Kingsville 150
6 Angelo State 148
7 Texas A&M-Commerce 117
8 Cameron 110
9 Eastern New Mexico 84
10 Western New Mexico 29

Women picked 9th in conference poll

Midwestern State was picked to finish ninth in the Lone Star Conference Preseason Poll as voted on by the league's head coaches, sports information directors and media representatives Wednesday afternoon.

Midwestern State tallied 120 points from the 31 ballots cast in the preseason poll. The Mustangs are coming off an 8-18 season and ninth-place league finish where they missed advancing to the LSC Tournament for the first time since 2010-11.

After a third-place conference finish in 2016-17, West Texas A&M was favored to win the LSC title for the fourth-straight year following a national quarterfinal appearance and 26-9 record. The Lady Buffs collected 11 first-place votes and 301 points.

Last season's regular season co-champion Eastern New Mexico came in second in the preseason poll with seven first-place votes and 280 points, while tournament champion Tarleton State amassed 270 points and three first-place nods. Angelo State was voted fourth with 267 points and four first-place votes while Texas A&M-Commerce was picked to finish first in the league on six ballots with 260 points.

Rounding out the poll was Texas Woman's (172 pts.), Cameron (145), Texas A&M-Kingsville (121), MSU (120), UT Permian Basin (63) and Western New Mexico (47).

Tarleton State sophomore forward Mackenzie Hailey was tabbed the league's preseason player of the year after earning All-LSC Second Team honors in 2016-17.

Under the direction of 10th-year head coach Noel Johnson, the Mustangs return four starters and 10 letterwinners for the upcoming campaign led by two-time All-LSC selection Whitney Taylor. The senior guard/forward from Melissa has led the Mustangs in scoring each of the last two seasons, averaging 13.4 points with 62 triples in 2016-17.

Senior guard Kristin Rydell (9.3 ppg, 42 3's), senior post Avery Queen (7.7 ppg, 3.8 rpg) and sophomore guard Leanna James (3.8 apg) join Taylor as returning starters off last year's squad. The Mustangs also welcome back their leading rebounder in senior forward Micheline Mercelita (5.0 rpg), who also ranked fifth on the team with 6.2 points per game. Sophomore forward Liz Cathcart (5.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg) and senior guard Jasmine Richardson (5.4 ppg, 2.6 apg) also return as top contributors from last year's team.

Midwestern State hits the hardwood Thursday, Nov. 2 for an exhibition contest against NCAA Division III Hardin-Simmons (Texas) at 6 p.m. in D.L. Ligon Coliseum. The Mustangs open the regular season hosting the seventh annual Ashbrook Classic, Nov. 10-11, with a 3 p.m. tipoff Friday, Nov. 10 against Colorado Mesa.

2017-18 Lone Star Conference Preseason Poll

Preseason Player of the Year
Mackenzie Hailey, Tarleton State

Place Team (1st-place votes) Total
1 West Texas A&M (11) 301
2 Eastern New Mexico (7) 280
3 Tarleton State (3) 270
4 Angelo State (4) 267
5 Texas A&M-Commerce (6) 260
6 Texas Woman's 172
7 Cameron 145
8 Texas A&M-Kingsville 121
9 Midwestern State 120
10 UT Permian Basin 63
11 Western New Mexico 47

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