MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande was picked fifth overall and third in the East Division according to the 2019-20 River States Conference Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Preseason Poll.
The poll, along the preseason all-conference team, was announced Wednesday as part of the league’s Media Day activities.
The RedStorm tallied 94 points overall in the balloting of the conference’s 13 head coaches and 54 points in the divisional voting.
Head coach Ken French’s squad, which finished 12-19 overall and 6-11 in the RSC a year ago, returns nine players from last year’s team, including four starters.
One of those returning starters, senior Cameron Schreiter (Mason, OH), was among those named to the preseason all-conference list. The 6-foot-4 forward averaged a team-best 13.3 points per game and ranked second on the club in rebounding at 6.6 carems per contest.
Rio Grande begins its season at home on November 1 against Ohio State University-Mansfield.
Indiana University Kokomo was picked first, both overall and in the league’s West Division. The Cougars received 137 points and eight of the possible 12 first-place votes to edge out IU East, which was second overall with 134 points and three first-place votes.
IU Kokomo was 26-8 overall and 13-5 in the RSC last year, winning the West Division championship and reaching the RSC Tournament finals. The Cougars received 83 points in the divisional poll and all 12 of the possible first-place votes to win the division.
IU East was picked second overall in the conference and as the top team in the East Division with 70 points in the latter category. The Red Wolves, who were 26-9 overall and 15-2 in league play last year as a national quarterfinalist, got 10 out of a possible 12 first-place votes in the division.
IU Southeast came in third with 114 votes and West Virginia University Tech was fourth with 109 votes, including the remaining two first-place votes.
IU Southeast was picked second in the RSC West and is coming off a season of 19-11 overall and 12-6 in the RSC. The Grenadiers had 69 votes in the divisional poll.
WVU Tech was 30-5 overall and 15-2 inside the RSC last year, earning the conference regular season and tournament championship in addition to advancing the Round of 16 at the national tournament. The Golden Bears came in second in the RSC East poll with 58 votes and three first-place votes there.
The top four teams in each division will qualify for the RSC Championship. Predicted as playoff teams from the RSC East are University of Rio Grande and Point Park (Pa.) University in third and fourth place. The RSC West had Brescia (Ky.) University and Asbury (Ky.) University as the final two playoff teams.
Midway (Ky.) University was fifth in the west and eighth overall in the conference.
Joining Schreiter on the all-conference team was Trequan Spivey, Alik McClain and Antoin Clifton from IU Kokomo; Bishop Smith of IU East; Brescia’s Kayode Daboiku; IU Southeast’s David Burton; Junior Arrey from WVU-Tech; Alice Lloyd College’s Blake Smith; and Kwon Evans of Midway.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.