Men's Basketball Team Picked 3rd in HCAC

StricklandFONTTERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has been selected to finish third in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference this season, in a preseason poll of league men's basketball coaches released today.

Transylvania University received five first-place votes and 86 total poll points after an 18-win season last winter.  Hanover was selected second with 78 points and one first-place vote, followed by Rose-Hulman in third place at 77 points.

The tightly packed poll also featured first-place votes for teams picked fourth (Manchester), fifth (Defiance) and sixth (Anderson).  A total of six teams will qualify for the 2011-12 HCAC Tournament in late February.

Rose-Hulman returns its top 10 scorers and all five starters from last year's team.  Junior Austin Weatherford (Cicero/Hamilton Heights) earned all-league recognition after averaging 11.3 points per game, and Julian Strickland (Indianapolis/Pike) was named HCAC Freshman of the Year after leading the team at 11.7 points per contest.

Junior Nate Gissentanner (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County) also averaged double figures last season at 10.4 points per game.  The top 10 scorers all started game last year and are joined by seven newcomers in the battle for playing time.

Rose-Hulman's schedule begins with a trip to the Oglethorpe University Tip-off Classic on Nov. 18-19.  The home opener takes place on Nov. 30 against Wabash College at Hulbert Arena.

2011-12 HCAC MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON COACHES POLL

RANK SCHOOL PTS. (1st) 2010-11 RECORD 2010-11 HCAC
1) Transylvania 86 (5) 18-9 11-7
2) Hanover 78 (1) 19-8 14-4
3) Rose-Hulman 77 16-10 10-8
4) Manchester 75 (2) 22-7 15-3
5) Defiance 58 (1) 13-12 8-10
6) Anderson 57 (1) 18-9 13-5
7) Bluffton 47 15-11 8-10
8) Franklin 42 8-17 6-12
9) Mount St. Joseph 18 7-18 5-13
10) Earlham 12 2-23 0-18