INDIANAPOLIS -- Ohio Dominican's men's basketball team was tabbed fourth in the Great Midwest Athletic Preseason Coaches Poll presetned by Under Armour, the conference announced on Monday.
ODU accrued 104 points while Findlay (136)(7), Hillsdale (125)(3), Walsh (117)(2) and Alderson Broaddus (106) accounted for the remainder of the top five.
The Panthers are coming off their best season since the 2007-2008 season with a record of 20-11 and a 12-8 conference record. ODU has consistently improved under sxith-year head coach Dan Evans, increasing its win total from the previous year in each season since 2013-14.
The defending G-MAC tournament champions bring back 11 players from a year ago where they made their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in school history.
Redshirt junior Hasan Varence (Queens, New York) is the teams top returner as the 6-6 forward garnered second team All G-MAC honors a year ago. A year ago, Varance averaged 14.3 points per game while bringing down 9.8 rebounds per game for the Panthers.
Also returning for the Panthers is senior Ryan Hoyng (Celina, Ohio) who started in 17 games a year ago averaging 5.6 points per game on 46.5% shooting while fellow senior forward Ben Casanova (Sylvania, Ohio) started in 17 games a year ago averaging 5.5 points per game on 52.5% shooting and 4.4 rebounds per game.
A year ago, junior Sam Hickey (Toledo, Ohio) came off the bench in all but one game while providing a spark plug for the Panther offense as he averaged 12.4 points per game on 44.2% shooting while grabbing 3.2 rebounds per game.
Senior guard RJ Jones (Twinsburg, Ohio) will provide a leadership role for the backcourt as he enters his final season as a Panther.
Four guards enter the Panther program to strengthen the backcourt as Tripp Hopkins (Columbus, Ohio), Ethan Haynes (Florence, Kentucky), Colby Watson (Cable, Ohio) and Arius Jones (Fort Wayne, Indiana) enter year one for ODU.
ODU opens their season with a matchup with Wayne State on Friday, November 9 with tip set for 8 p.m. at Alumni Hall. The Panthers play six out of conference games before entering their 20 game G-MAC schedule when they travel to Walsh on Thursday, November 29 with tip set for 7:30 p.m.
2018-19 Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll presented by Under Armour
1.) Findlay - 136 (7)
2.) Hillsdale - 125 (3)
3.) Walsh - 117 (2)
4.) Ohio Dominican - 110
5.) Alderson Broaddus - 106
6.) Lake Erie - 101 (1)
7.) Cedarville - 68
8.) Malone - 64
9.) Tiffin - 53
10.) Trevecca - 31
11.) Davis & Elkins - 30
12.) Ohio Valley - 14
13.) Kentucky Wesleyan - 13
() = First Place Votes