The Ashland University men's basketball team was picked to win the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference South Division the league announced on Wednesday (Oct. 25) morning with the release of the preseason coaches' poll.
The Eagles, who received eight first-place votes, are coming off a season in which they went 19-10 with a 12-8 mark in conference play. AU was red-hot at the end of the season, advancing to the GLIAC Tournament championship game with a 100-69 win over Findlay before a 70-69 defeat to nationally-ranked Ferris State in the title game.
Davis returns as a Street & Smith's Preseason All-American after missing last season with an injury. The 6-foot-6 forward was a consensus all-region first team selection in 2015-16 when he led the Eagles in scoring (17.4 points per game), rebounding (7.7 per game) and assists (3.3 per game) while shooting 50 percent from the field.
Davis was also a second team all-region and first team All-GLIAC pick following his breakout sophomore campaign in 2014-15.
Hamilton, a 6-foot-4 forward, averaged 9.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game last season and shot 53 percent from the field.
The top returning scorer from last year is junior guard Ben Haraway, who averaged 10.6 points and 3.3 assists per game. He was a 49 percent shooter from the field.
Wayne State garnered the other four first-place votes in the GLIAC South and was picked to finish second. Saginaw Valley State, Davenport, Northwood and Tiffin round out the GLIAC South poll, respectively. Ferris State was chosen to repeat as the GLIAC North champion.
The Eagles are looking to make a trip to the NCAA Tournament this season after qualifying in 2015-16 for the first time since 1991. AU has averaged 21 wins over the last three seasons.
Ashland is in its ninth season under head coach John Ellenwood.
The full GLIAC preseason coaches' poll follows.
|GLIAC South (first-place votes)||Points|
|1. Ashland (8)||63|
|2. Wayne State (4)||58|
|3. Saginaw Valley State||46|
|GLIAC North (first-place votes)||Points|
|1. Ferris State (11)||66|
|2. Lake Superior State (1)||51|
|3. Michigan Tech||49|
|4. Grand Valley State||33|
|5. Northern Michigan||31|
|6. Purdue Northwest||16|