Rockets Near-Unanimous Pick to Win MAC's West Division
TOLEDO, OH — The Toledo men’s basketball team was a near-unanimous pick to win the West Division in the 2013-14 Mid-American Conference Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll released on Tuesday. The poll was announced prior to the league’s preseason media teleconference and was determined by a 25-member MAC Media and Coaches Panel.
The Rockets received 24 first-place votes and 149 points, while Akron was tabbed as the East Division winner with 18 first-place votes and 143 points. The Zips also garnered 14 votes to win the FirstEnergy MAC Men’s Basketball Tournament with the Rockets receiving seven votes.
Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk is entering his fourth season at UT’s helm and has orchestrated a dramatic turnaround since his arrival in 2010. UT registered the second-largest turnaround in NCAA Division I Basketball in 2011-12 with its 19-17 win-loss mark and followed that up by sharing the MAC West Division title with Western Michigan last season.
Following UT in the West Division was Western Michigan (108 pts.) Eastern Michigan (101 pts., 1 first-place vote), Ball State (89 pts.), Central Michigan (50 pts.) and Northern Illinois (28 pts.).
Joining Pearson and Brown on the West Division squad were Ball State’s Majok Majok, Western Michigan’s Shayne Whittington and Eastern Michigan’s Glenn Bryant.
Buffalo was picked second behind Akron in the East with 120 pts. (6 first-place votes) followed by Ohio (94 pts.), Kent State (91 pts.), Bowling Green (53 pts.) and Miami (31 pts.).
The East Division squad is comprised of two players from Akron (Demetrius Treadwell and Quincy Diggs) and Buffalo (Javon McCrea and Will Regan) as well as Miami’s Will Felder.
Toledo will the floor for the first time on Sunday, Nov. 3 when it faces NCAA Division II foe Hillsdale in an exhibition contest at 3:30 p.m. It will follow the Rocket women’s basketball squad’s exhibition matchup vs. Ashland at 1:00 p.m.
UT opens its regular season on Saturday, Nov. 9 with a home game against Northwestern Ohio before venturing to the East Coast for a matchup at Atlantic Coast Conference foe Boston College on Thursday, Nov. 14.
2013-14 West Division Predicted Order of Finish
1. Toledo – 149 points (24 first-place votes)
2. Western Michigan – 108 points
3. Eastern Michigan – 101 points (1 first-place vote)
4. Ball State – 89 points
5. Central Michigan – 50 points
6. Northern Illinois – 28 points
2013-14 East Division Predicted Order of Finish
1. Akron – 143 points (18 first-place votes)
2. Buffalo – 120 points (6 first-place votes)
3. Ohio – 94 points
4. Kent State – 91 points (1 first-place vote)
5. Miami – 42 points
6. Bowling Green – 35 points
2013-14 East Division Preseason All-MAC Team
Javon McCrea, Buffalo
Demetrius Treadwell, Akron
Will Felder, Miami
Will Regan, Buffalo
Quincy Diggs, Akron
MAC Men’s Basketball Tournament Winner: Akron (14), Toledo (7), Buffalo (1)