Wesleyan basketball head coach Jack Meriwether
Wesleyan basketball head coach Jack Meriwether

Bobcats picked 10th in hoops poll

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – Under the direction of second-year head coach Jack Meriwether, West Virginia Wesleyan was selected 10th in the Mountain East Conference Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll. West Liberty has been picked by the coaches to repeat as conference champions.

The Hilltoppers, the preseason No. 1 team in the country according to Street & Smith’s, had 116 points and six first-place votes, narrowly ahead of Fairmont State with 114 points and five first-place votes. Charleston was in third in the poll with 102 points and had the remaining first place vote.

West Liberty is coming off a 26-4 record and MEC regular season championship a year ago. Ben Howlett begins his second season at the helm of the program. The Hilltoppers will be led by sophomore Dalton Bolon, a preseason All-America selection. Bolon averaged 16.7 points per game last season and hit 93 three-pointers last season. Fairmont State returns a pair of All-MEC honorees in Jason Jolly (15.4 ppg, 4.0 apg) and Vonte Montgomery (11.8 pts, 4.6 rbg). Lamont McManus helped get UC to the MEC Tournament final last season and is back to help lead the Golden Eagles.

Notre Dame was slotted fourth in the poll with 84 points, followed by Concord (75). The Falcons get a boost with the return Will Vorhees, who led the league in scoring with 26.8 points per game as a junior before missing last season with an injury. Concord’s Tommy Bolte took over the scoring title last year in the MEC and in all of NCAA Division II scoring after pouring in 31.8 points per game.

West Virginia State, led by first team All-MEC selection Pat Johnson-Agwu, is picked sixth with 72 points. Shepherd was seventh in the poll with 62 points, followed by Glenville State (47) and Wheeling Jesuit (43). The Pioneers and Cardinals will be led by first-year head coaches Justin Caldwell and John Peckinpaugh, respectively. West Virginia Wesleyan (30), UVa-Wise (26) and Urbana (21) rounded out the poll.

Courtesy of Adam Zundell – Senior Associate Commissioner for Communications Mountain East Conference

Mountain East Conference
Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll

Rk. Team Points
1. West Liberty (6) 116
2. Fairmont State (5) 114
3. Charleston (1) 102
4. Notre Dame 84
5. Concord 75
6. West Virginia State 72
7. Shepherd 62
8. Glenville State 47
9. Wheeling Jesuit 43
10. West Virginia Wesleyan 30
11. UVa-Wise 26
12. Urbana 21
() denotes first-place votes

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