MMC Women Picked 10th In GPAC Hoops Poll

Ready for some basketball? Apparently, the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) folks are.

The league office released the 2008-2009 GPAC preseason men’s and women’s basketball polls Monday afternoon. And from the looks of each, there don’t figure to be any surprises this season.

BUT, remember, preseason polls really don’t matter at all. They’re just something for the fans and media to nibble on before the season starts.  Just ask the University of South Dakota men’s team — which was picked No. 1 in a preseason poll last winter — and the women’s team, which was picked second in its own conference.

Let’s take a look at the GPAC women’s poll:

  1. Morningside (10) — 142
  2. Hastings (2) — 129
  3. Concordia — 123
  4. Northwestern (1) — 108
  5. Doane — 94
  6. Dakota Wesleyan — 85
  7. Briar Cliff — 70
  8. Sioux Falls — 68
  9. Dordt — 61
  10. Mount Marty — 59
  11. Midland Lutheran — 33
  12. Dana — 24
  13. Nebraska Wesleyan — 18

I don’t really have any beef with the top four positions. Remember, Morningside was a perfect 18-0 in the GPAC last season and went all the way to the NAIA Tournament semifinals. And Hastings, a national semifinalist last season, won 30 games a year ago. And Northwestern, the NAIA National Champions with a 35-2 record, loses Deb Remmerde.

The Mount Marty College Lancers were picked 10th, which does surprise me a bit. The Lancers went 11-1 at the end of last season and were defeated by Morningside in the GPAC tourney semifinals. Mount Marty loses six seniors but will have six seniors on the squad in 08-09, and remember, the Lancers have a new coach in Tom Schlimgen.

And now on the GPAC men’s poll:

  1. Dakota Wesleyan (12) — 144
  2. Northwestern (1) — 122
  3. Morningside — 113
  4. Dordt — 110
  5. Sioux Falls — 97
  6. Briar Cliff — 91
  7. Hastings — 72
  8. Dana — 65
  9. Doane — 54
  10. Nebraska Wesleyan — 53
  11. Concordia — 39
  12. Midland Lutheran — 36
  13. Mount Marty — 18

Again, no surprise here with the top pick. The DWU Tigers, coached by former USD assistant John Hemenway, posted a 24-9 record last season and finished in a tie for third in the GPAC (with Dordt) at 13-5. The top three teams in the preseason poll all advanced to the NAIA National Tournament last year.

For the Lancer men, who were 8-23 and 3-15 in the GPAC a year ago, they lose five seniors but return plenty of size in their freshman and sophomore classes. It may be a struggle for Mount Marty again in 08-09, but personally, I don’t see the Lancers finishing last.

Less then a month from basketball season!

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