Men's basketball selected third in NAC preseason coaches poll
Athletics - posted on 10/28/2010
The Lakeland men's basketball team has been selected to finish third in the Northern Athletics Conference North Division by the league's coaches, the conference announced Wednesday.
The Muskies, who finished tied for third with Rockford in the division last season, received 51 points and two first-place votes in this year's preseason voting.
Edgewood has been picked as the North Division champion, receiving six of the 12 first-place votes and 64 points total, just three points ahead of defending North Division champion Concordia, Wis.
Concordia University Chicago has been selected to win the South Division, garnering seven first-place votes and 60 points overall. Last year's South Division champion, Aurora University, was picked to finish tied for second with the Milwaukee School of Engineering, earning two first-place votes and 49 total points.
The Muskies, who last season posted a 12-14 overall record to go along with an 8-8 mark in NAC play, will miss junior Jake Schwarz (Sheboygan, Wis.), who suffered a season-ending knee injury. Last season Schwarz finished sixth in the nation in scoring with 23.1 points per game and was named first team All-NAC and first team All-Midwest Region. He finished among conference leaders in rebounding (9.3 per game), field goal percentage (.539) and free throw percentage (.825).
Head coach Aaron Aanonsen thought the poll was a reasonable estimate of the NAC.
"It's a fair estimate of where the conference sees us without Jake (Schwarz)," Aanonsen said. "We tied for third last year behind Concordia, Wis., and Edgewood, but we went 3-1 against them. When you lose arguably the best player in your conference to a season-ending knee injury, it's a fair estimate of where we should be."
Junior point guard Josh Regal (Suring, Wis.) returns as Lakeland's leading scorer (13.0 points) and leader in assists (120) and steals (43). Regal played in all 26 games last season, starting in 25.
Another key returnee for the Muskies is senior forward Trevor McKown. McKown earned All-Sportsmanship team honors. The Hot Springs, S.D., native played in all 26 games, shot 53.3 percent from the floor and averaged 7.0 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.
Junior forward Germell Heard (Milwaukee, Wis.) also returns after grabbing 73 rebounds and adding 18 assists last season. He also played in all 26 games, starting in seven.
Other key contributors returning include seniors Sam Schroeder (Shawno, Wis.) and Phil Sontag (Altoona, Wis.), junior Eric Vandivier (Mt. Prospect, Ill.) and sophomore Eric Strzok (Thorp, Wis.).
The NAC enters its third season of divisional play. Lakeland competes in the North, along with Concordia, Wis., Edgewood, Maranatha Baptist, Marian and Rockford. The Muskies will play each team in its division twice during the regular season.
Aurora, Benedictine, Concordia Chicago, Dominican, MSOE and Wisconsin Lutheran make up the South. Lakeland will face each of these teams once.
for the conference preseason poll release.
For the complete 2010-11 NAC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll, see below. First place votes are in parentheses.
1. Edgewood (6), 64
2. Concordia Wisconsin (4), 61
3. Lakeland (2), 51
4. Wisconsin Lutheran, 34
5. Marian, 25
6. Maranatha, 17
1. Concordia Chicago (7), 60
2. Aurora (2), 49
4. Benedictine (1), 42
5. Dominican (2), 39
6. Rockford, 13
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