Men’s basketball picked fifth by OVC Media; Women picked ninth

Posted on 20 October 2017 by admin

For the fourth year in a row, the Ohio Valley Conference has conducted a Preseason Men’s and Women’s Media Poll prior to the start of the season. In total 12 voters from around the league cast a ballot on whom they thought would be the 2017-18 basketball favorites and preseason players of the year.

The OVC will release its preseason poll and All-OVC team, as voted on by league head coaches and sports information directors, on Tuesday, October 24 during the league’s annual Media Day in Evansville.

The media panel picked the Belmont men’s and women’s teams as the preseason favorites. Murray State senior guard Jonathan Stark was tabbed the OVC Men’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year while Murray State senior forward Ke’Shunan James was named OVC Women’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year.

In the men’s voting, defending regular season champion Belmont picked up eight of the 13 first-place votes and 148 total points in being picked the preseason favorite. Murray State picked up one first-place vote and 138 points to be picked second while defending OVC Tournament champion Jacksonville State received two first-place votes and 132 points in being tabbed third. Tennessee State (95 points) and Eastern Kentucky (91) also picked up first-place votes in being selected fourth and fifth. The poll was rounded out by UT Martin (82), Tennessee Tech (80), Eastern Illinois (79), Morehead State (59), Austin Peay (48), Southeast Missouri (36) and SIUE (26).

In women’s voting, it was two-time defending OVC Tournament champion Belmont who picked up 12 of the 13 first-place votes and 155 points in being tabbed an overwhelming favorite. UT Martin picked up the other first-place vote and 125 points in being picked second while Morehead State was third (119) and SIUE fourth (109). The poll was rounded out by Murray State (96), Austin Peay (91), Tennessee Tech (71), Southeast Missouri (66), Eastern Kentucky (57), Jacksonville State (55), Tennessee State (40) and Eastern Illinois (30).

Pollsters for the 2017-18 OVC Media Poll included: Catlin Bogard, OVC Ball; Mike Bradd, Eastern Illinois Radio; Neal Bradley, Murray State Radio; Rob Calhoun, Eastern Illinois Radio; Edward Marlowe, Paducah Sun; Mike Organ, The Tennessean; Justin Rust, Journal Gazette/Times-Courier; Harry Schroeder, ValleyHoopsInsider.com; Greg Stotelmyer, Eastern Kentucky Sports Network.

2017-18 Media OVC Preseason Men’s Predicted Order of Finish
1. Belmont (8 first-place votes) – 148 points
2. Murray State (1) – 138
3. Jacksonville State (2) – 132
4. Tennessee State (1) – 95
5. Eastern Kentucky (1) – 91
6. UT Martin – 82
7. Tennessee Tech – 80
8. Eastern Illinois – 79
9. Morehead State – 59
10. Austin Peay – 48
11. Southeast Missouri – 36
12. SIUE – 26

Preseason Player of the Year: Jonathan Stark, Murray State

2017-18 Media OVC Preseason Women’s Predicted Order of Finish
1. Belmont (12 first-place votes) – 155 points
2. UT Martin (1) – 125
3. Morehead State – 119
4. SIUE – 109
5. Murray State – 96
6. Austin Peay – 91
7. Tennessee Tech – 71
8. Southeast Missouri – 66
9. Eastern Kentucky – 57
10. Jacksonville State – 55
11. Tennessee State – 40
12. Eastern Illinois – 30

Preseason Player of the Year: Ke’Shunan James, Murray State

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