CLEVELAND, Ohio – Bowling Green & Toledo have been selected to win their respective divisions in the 2019-20 MAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll. Bowling Green received a total of nine first place votes when it came to picking who would win the East, while the Rockets received 11 first place votes to take home the West.
Half of the league’s head coaches also tabbed BGSU to win the MAC Men’s Basketball Tournament. Ten of the league’s top men’s basketball players were also selected to the preseason All-MAC teams for the East and West Divisions as announced by the league office.The Falcons return four starters and 10 letterwinners from last year’s 22-win team that reached the MAC Championship Game for just the fourth time in school history. Guards Justin Turner and Dylan Frye earned spots on the preseason All-MAC East squad.
Bowling Green is followed in the East Division preseason predictions by defending champion Buffalo, while Kent State was selected to finish third and Miami fourth. Akron was tabbed to finish fifth and Ohio sixth to round out this year’s selections.
Toledo posted a 25-8 record in 2018-19, a season that included a MAC West Division title and an NIT berth. Tenth-year Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk has guided the Rockets to four 20-win campaigns in the last sixth years, marking the first time for this accomplishment since Bob Nichols recorded five straight seasons of 20-plus victories from 1976-81.
Northern Illinois followed Toledo in the preseason rankings in second, while Ball State was selected to finish third. Central Michigan was picked to place fourth, while Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan rounded out the West Division selections.
The MAC regular season gets underway on Tuesday, November 5th as five MAC programs take the hardwood. Conference action begins on Friday, January 3rd as teams will start to fight for position in the MAC Men’s Basketball Tournament that will take place on March 12-14 at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio.
Men’s Basketball East Division Predictions (First Place Votes)
Bowling Green – 69 (9)
Buffalo – 58 (3)
Kent State – 43
Miami – 37
Akron – 33
Ohio – 12
Men’s Basketball West Division Predictions (First Place Votes)
Toledo – 69 (11)
Northern Illinois – 52
Ball State – 51 (1)
Central Michigan – 41
Western Michigan – 23
Eastern Michigan – 16
Tournament Champs: Bowling Green (6), Toledo (2), Buffalo (1), Kent State (1), Miami (1), NIU (1)
East Division Preseason All-MAC Team
Justin Turner, Bowling Green, R-Jr., G
Dylan Frye, Bowling Green, Sr., G
Phillip Whittington, Kent State, Sr., F
Nike Sibande, Miami, Jr., G
Jayvon Graves, Buffalo, Jr., G
West Division Preseason All-MAC Team
Eugene German, Northern Illinois, Sr., G
Tahjai Teague, Ball State, R-Sr., F
Marreon Jackson, Toledo, Jr., G
Luke Knapke, Toledo, Sr., C
Michael Flowers, Western Michigan, Jr., G
Dave DiLeo, Central Michigan, Sr., F