HAUTE, IND. -- The Rose-Hulman men's basketball team has been
selected to finish second in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic
Conference this season, in a preseason poll of league coaches
Transylvania University, ranked No. 16 nationally by
d3hoops.com in the organization's preseason poll, was picked to win
with seven first place votes and 97 poll
Rose-Hulman, which also received votes in the d3hoops.com
national poll, earned three first place votes and 92 poll
points to place second overall.
Hanover was picked to finish third, with Defiance,
Franklin and Bluffton rounding out the top six. Manchester,
Anderson, Mount St. Joseph and Earlham rounded out the
The top six teams will qualify for the HCAC Tournament in
February. Last season, Rose-Hulman earned its first NCAA
Division III Tournament appearance since 1999 by winning the HCAC
Tournament at Transylvania.
Rose-Hulman features the return of four starters
and 11 letter winners from the 2011-12 squad this
winter. Returning all-conference players include junior
Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) and senior
Austin Weatherford (Cicero/Hamilton Heights), who
were the team's top two scorers last season.
Other multiple-year letter winners return include senior
Brenton Balsbaugh (Greenville, Ohio/Arcanum),
senior Jon Gerken (Defiance, Ohio/Tinora), senior
Nate Gissentanner (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County),
junior Jordy Martin (New Albany) and junior
James Pillischafske (Louisville, Ky./Male).
Junior Jake Dodd (St. Peters, Mo./Missouri-St.
Louis) also saw significant time.
The Fightin' Engineers also feature six newcomers,
including five players at 6' 4" tall or above. Rose-Hulman
finished 20-9 overall for the fourth 20-win season in program
history last winter.
Rose-Hulman opens the 2012-13 season with a trip to the
Milwaukee School of Engineering Tip-Off Tournament on Nov.