SIOUX CITY — The Morningside College men's basketball team was tabbed on Wednesday as the preseason favorite in the poll.
The Mustangs received 96 points from the coaches, and seven of those coaches selected Morningside at first place. Coaches were not allowed to pick their own team.
Morningside won the regular-season championship last season with a 27-3 overall record, and it went 18-2 in the conference.
Zach Imig returns as the Mustangs' leading scorer, as he had 13.7 points per game last season.
Northwestern (20-12, 12-8) received the second-most points in the preseason poll with 84. The Red Raiders got two first-place votes.
Their leading scorer, senior Trent Hilbrands, returns after a 17.8 ppg season last year.
Dordt finished third in the preseason poll, as the Defenders received 82 points and one first-place vote. Dordt went 22-9 last season, and its longest winning streak was five.
Jamestown received the last first-place vote.
Briar Cliff received 38 points, good for eighth-place in the poll. The Chargers went 16-14 last season.
The coaches picked Dordt in the women's preseason poll. The Defenders received 113 points and six first-place votes.
Dordt went 24-8 last season, and won 15 of 22 GPAC games last season. Erika Feenstra led the Defenders with 17.6 ppg, but the Defenders added Nebraska transfer Ashtyn Veerbeek.
Veerbeek started 29 of the Huskers' 30 games, averaging 7.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
Concordia, meanwhile, was picked second with 110 points and five first place votes. Last year Concordia won the regular season and tournament titles in the GPAC.
Morningside was tabbed third with 108 points, and received the final first-place vote. The Mustangs (23-10, 16-6) return their top-two scorers, Sierra Mitchell (16.6 ppg) and Sophia Peppers (14.5 ppg).
Northwestern (17-11, 12-10) was next on the preseason poll, receiving 88 points. Sammy Blum returns for her senior season after scoring 15.6 ppg last season.
Briar Cliff earned 38 points, good for eighth place in the preseason poll. The Chargers will be with new coach Brita Hand this season.
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