IUP grabbed eight first-places votes and the No. 1 slot in the west after producing a 28-4, 21-1 campaign. The Crimson Hawks advanced to the NCAA Atlantic Region semifinals. Junior Jacobo Diaz, the reigning PSAC West Athlete of the Year, averaged a double-double (14.4 ppg, 10.0 rpg) while head coach Joe Lombardi grabbed his 250th career win. IUP returns four starters and was picked third in the Street & Smith’s preseason top 10.
Gannon was slotted second and returns three of its top four scorers from a year ago. Senior guard Zay Jackson posted 17.1 points per contest while the Golden Knights boasted an 18-10, 15-7 record. Coach John Reilly is nine wins shy of 450 for his career. GU finished second in the PSAC in three-point percentage (39.4) and has recorded winning seasons in 40 of the last 45.
Mercyhurst earned third and a first-place vote following a 14-14, 11-11 season. The Lakers defense held the opposition to 68.8 points per game, which was third-best in the league. MU returns senior Lorenzo Collier, who averaged 13.2 points per game.
Slippery Rock swiped fourth and returns a trio of starters. Coach Kevin Reynolds and The Rock defense paced the PSAC after allowing 65 points per game. Junior guard Merdic Green will pace the offense after averaging 10.8 points and 4 rebounds.
California was slated fifth and ranked fourth in the league with 9.1 three pointers per game. The Vulcans defense ranked in the top 10 in most statistical categories.
Pitt-Johnstown grabbed sixth and return a pair of seniors who averaged at least 14 points per game. Forward Isaac Vescovi went for 15.5 while guard Dale Clancy produced 14.0 and added 6.2 assists per game. Clancy earned all-conference first-team recognition. Coach Bob Rukavina is 13 wins shy of 500 on his storied career.
Seton Hill earned seventh and return four starters. Senior Spencer Casson was named PSAC West Defensive Athlete of the Year after swatting 108 shots. Casson averaged 11.2 points and 8 rebounds per game. Coach Tony Morocco is nine wins shy of 200 on his career.
Edinboro was picked eighth while Jaymon Mason has been named a DII Bulletin preseason All-American for the second consecutive season.
Clarion completed the poll while returning senior Cameron Grumley. He averaged 13.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists last season. Coach Marcess Williams is 11 wins shy of 200 for his career.
The regular season commences on Friday, November 10.
PSAC Men’s Basketball East Preseason Poll (First Place Votes)
1) Shippensburg (8)
3) East Stroudsburg (1)
4) West Chester
5) Lock Haven
PSAC Men’s Basketball West Preseason Poll
1) IUP (8)
3) Mercyhurst (1)
4) Slippery Rock
7) Seton Hill
IUP earned eight first-place votes and sits atop the west after winning its fifth PSAC title last season. The Crimson Hawks seek to repeat as they return all five starters. Four of the five starters averaged double figures while the team shot a league-best 36.7 percent from behind the arc. Coach Tom McConnell’s team advanced to the NCAA Atlantic Region semifinals and finished the season 24-7 (18-4). Junior Carolyn Appleby paced the team with 14.7 points per contest while teammate Megan Smith chipped in with 14.1.
California grabbed a first-place vote after finishing 30-4 and advancing to the NCAA Atlantic Region finals. Coach Jess Strom’s team will return three starters, including first-team all-conference representative Seairra Barrett. Barrett posted 18.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
Edinboro is slated third after an impressive 21-9 season and returns three starters. Coach Stan Swank’s team finished in the top three in scoring offense and defense while averaging 38.5 rebounds per contest. Senior Ciara Rosten boasted 11.9 points and 6.4 rebounds.
Seton Hill earned fourth and return a trio of seniors. Jenna Kaufman will lead the Griffins after notching 15.2 points per game. Coach Mark Katarski earned PSAC West Coach of the Year after his team qualified for the PSAC Tournament for the fourth consecutive season.
Gannon swiped fifth and returns five starters. The Lady Knights are 63-20 at home over the last six seasons and will be led by senior guard Maggie Mitchell. Mitchell dropped 17.3 points while 4.1 rebounds.
Slippery Rock is slotted sixth and returns a trio of starters. Sophomore Brooke Hinderliter looks to build off of her freshman campaign, where she averaged 10.5 points and 4.8 rebounds.
Clarion, Pitt-Johnstown and Mercyhurst rounded out the poll.
The 2017-18 regular season commences Friday, November 10th.
PSAC Women’s Basketball East Preseason Poll (First Place Votes)
1) East Stroudsburg (7)
2) West Chester (2)
7) Lock Haven
PSAC Women’s Basketball West Preseason Poll
1) IUP (8)
2) California (1)
4) Seton Hill
6) Slippery Rock