A quick break from high school football….
The University of South Dakota men’s basketball team has been picked to win the Great West Conference title this season, according to the coaches preseason poll released Thursday.
USD received a total of 41 points, including 3 first place selections.Rounding out the poll was Utah Valley (38, 2 first place votes), Chicago State (35, 1 first), North Dakota (26, 1 first), Houston Baptist (23), New Jersey Tech (17) and Texas-Pan American (16).
So, as you can see, the Coyotes weren’t the overwhelming favorite, but still, the league coaches appear impressed with USD’s chances in the conference’s first season.
USD senior forward Tyler Cain was named the league’s Preseason Player of the Year. Last year, Cain averaged 15.4 points, 11 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game on the way to All-Independent honors — including Independent Defensive Player of the Year.
Joining Cain on the Preseason All-Conference First Team were USD’s Louie Krogman, Chicago State’s Carl Montgomery, NJIT’s Jheryl Wilson and UTPA’s Nick Weiermiller.
Also for USD, senior Roman Gentry was named to the Second Team.
The Coyotes, under 22nd-year head coach Dave Boots, return three starters (Cain, Krogman and senior Steve Smith) and seven letterwinners. USD also brings in a pair of junior college transfers (Mitchell Bouie and Kendall Cutler), while also adding four freshmen.
USD opens its 2009-10 season Nov. 13 at the Duel in the Desert Classic, being hosted by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Tex.