The defending KCAC Tournament champion McPherson Bulldogs have been voted to finish fourth in the 2013-14 season according to the Preseason Media and Coaches Polls that were tallied at the KCAC Basketball Media Day Tuesday.
The Bethany College men's basketball team was picked sixth in the media and coaches poll.
The 'Dogs received one first place vote in the coaches poll and two in the one done by the media.
Friends University was selected by both the media and coaches to finish the year in first place; the Falcons collected 11 of the 23 first place votes.
Tabor College, Sterling College and University of Saint Mary were all picked in the top five of both polls.
"I believe Friends should have been picked as the preseason number one based on their returners," Bulldog head coach Tim Swartzendruber said. "The conference should be as strong as ever. Many teams return multiple starters and experience. I like our team and how we have practiced thus far and think it will be another exciting season."
Bringing back four starters from last season, McPherson expects to finish higher than their fourth place ranking.
The 'Dogs returning starters are three-year All-KCAC performer and 2013-14 preseason all-conference player Samson Shivers, two-year All-KCAC honoree and '13-'14 preseason all-conference athlete Adam Bruner, Kyle Lakin and Devirous Johnson.
MC also has varsity minutes coming back from Darius Hill, D'onte Woods, Derek Bevan and four-year Bulldog Joey Powers. Brian (BJ) Johnson will also look to contribute in his second year in the program as will January-transfer Erik DeRoo.
Impact newcomers include transfers TJ Grant and Deandre Henson, freshman Carson Clay and 2011-12 KCAC Freshman of the Year Kenny Berry Jr. who rejoins the Bulldogs after transferring out for a year.
The team's top scorer from a year ago is Shivers who averaged right over 15 points per contest and is just 462 points shy of the school record of 2000 career points.
Bruner returns 11.6 points a game and is followed by Hill who was a starting post player for Mac before his season-ending injury late last year. Johnson brings back a team-high 211 rebounds, 143 on the defensive side from a year ago.
The Swedes men's basketball team, which head coach Clair Oleen calls long and athletic on the perimeter, looks for experience to help lead their squad.
Bethany welcomes four new transfers to their squad that will join their seven returning letter winners.
"It's very important that our leaders move everybody in the right direction," Oleen said.
MC travels to Lawrence for a matchup with the Indians of Haskell Indian Nations for their first competition of the season. Game time is set for 8 p.m. on Oct. 29.
Page 2 of 2 - The Bethany men tip off their 2013-2014 campaign Nov. 1, hosting Johnson and Wales University at 8 p.m.
KCAC Men’s Basketball
Preseason Media Poll
1 Friends (4) 109
2 Tabor (4) 104
3 Saint Mary (2) 98
4 McPherson (2) 96
5 Sterling (1) 94
6 Bethany 61
7 Southwestern 60
8 Ottawa 51
9 KaWU 25
10 Bethel 17
Preseason Coaches Poll
1 Friends (7) 75
2 Saint Mary (1) 65
3 Tabor (1) 63
4 McPherson (1) 61
5 Sterling 54
T6 Bethany 38
T6 Ottawa 38
8 Southwestern 30
9 KWU 16
10 Bethel 10