PIKEVILLE – The University of Pikeville men’s basketball team was picked to finish fourth in the league standings, according to the Mid-South Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll released by league officials on Wednesday.
Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.
Georgetown College – which finished as the national runner-up a season ago – is the leader of the group with 44 points and three first-place votes in the poll. Campbellsville University is picked second with 36 points and three top nods as well, while Lindsey Wilson College rounds out the top three with 36 points and two first-place votes.
UPIKE and University of the Cumberlands were right there in the mix for a top three prediction as the Bears collected 34 voting points and the Patriots came away with 33.
The final three spots in the poll belonged to Life (Ga.) at No. 6 with 20, followed by Cumberland (Tenn.) at No. 7 (14) and Shawnee State (Ohio) at No. 8 (7).
While Pikeville finished second in the MSC standings last season with a 12-4 record, it will have to replace a bulk of its production from that team. Of the 90.9 points per game it averaged, only 19.8 of it is back in the fold.
While the scoring will have to be picked up, UPIKE does have the luxury of valuable experience in its four returners as they combined to make 39 starts last season.
Fans can get their first look at the Bears at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 19 with the annual Basketball Blast-Off, while regular-season play begins on Oct. 24 against Central Penn at the East Kentucky Expo Center.