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Wooster Men; DePauw Women Favored As NCAC Preps For 29th Basketball Season

2012-13 NCAC Preseason Basketball Coaches' Polls

The DePauw women and Wooster men were tabbed as the favorites in the 2012 North Coast Athletic Conference preseason basketball coaches' polls.

 

DePauw, which is the defending NCAC women’s regular season and tournament champion, took eight

of the possible nine first-place votes cast by league coaches for 78 total points to edge out Denison by nine points. The Big Red, who earned the final first-place vote, were second with 69 points, while Kenyon and Wittenberg tied for third-place on the poll with 55 points apiece. Allegheny totaled 49 points in fifth-place, followed by Ohio Wesleyan (37), Hiram (27), Oberlin (23) and Wooster (12).

The Tigers return 14 letterwinners and four starters from last year’s team which posted a 27-2 record, won its first NCAC regular season and tournament title and earned the program’s ninth-straight trip to the NCAA Div. III Tournament. Junior Ali Ross (Lexington, KY/Lafayette) {left}, a 2012 All-NCAC first-team selection, returns as the Tigers’ leading scorer after averaging 10.8 points a year ago after shooting 46 percent (106-of-229) and 43 percent (51-of-119) from beyond the arc. In addition, senior Ellie Pearson (Madison, WI/West) returns as the leading frontcourt performer after finishing the 2011-12 campaign as the squad’s leader in rebounds (232) and blocks (28). DPU head coach Kris Huffman begins her 20th season at the helm as the program’s winningest coach all-time with a 432-103 career record and a 233-31 mark in conference games.

Wooster, which has won 14 NCAC men’s titles all-time, topped Ohio Wesleyan in the poll by an eight-point margin after earning seven of the possible 10 first-place votes cast by league coaches to total 97 points. The Battling Bishops were second with 89 points and three first-place votes, while DePauw rounded out the top three in the poll with 72 points. Wittenberg, the defending NCAC Champion, finished fourth on the poll with 70 points, followed by Wabash (63), Denison (55), Kenyon (36), Hiram (35), Allegheny (21) and Oberlin (12).

The Fighting Scots, who captured the 2012 NCAC tournament title and competed in the NCAA Tournament for the 10th consecutive year, return eight letterwinners and two starters from the 2011-12 squad that finished the season with an overall record of 26-5. The Scots look to returning seniors Josh Claytor (Oxford, OH/Talawanda) and Jake Mays (Tallmadge, OH/Tallmadge) for leadership this season. Claytor and Mays return as the teams’ leading rebounders from a year ago after averaging 5.3 and 4.4 rebounds a game, respectively, for the Scots
last season. In addition, sophomore Xavier Brown (Bowling Green, OH/Bowling Green) {right}, who earned NCAC Newcomer of the Year honors in 2012, returns as the leading scorer after averaging 12.9 points per game a year ago. Head coach Steve Moore, who has compiled an overall record of 595-134 in 25 years at Wooster, returns to the sidelines this season as the winningest coach all-time in NCAA Division III history based on winning percentage (682-199, .774).

The 2012-13 season begins on Thursday, November 15. The NCAC Tournament will be held at the end of February with the men’s and women’s semifinals at the site of the respective high seeds on Feb. 22-23.

2012 NORTH COAST ATHLETIC CONFERENCE PRESEASON BASKETBALL COACHES' POLLS
(FIRST-PLACE VOTES IN PARENTHESES, FOLLOWED BY TOTAL POINTS)

WOMEN
MEN
1. DePauw (8) 78
1. Wooster (7) 97
2. Denison (1) 69
2. Ohio Wesleyan (3) 89
3. Kenyon 55
3. DePauw 72

Wittenberg 55
4. Wittenberg 70
5. Allegheny 49
5. Wabash 63
6. Ohio Wesleyan 37
6. Denison 55
7. Hiram 27
7. Kenyon 36
8. Oberlin 23
8. Hiram 35
9. Wooster

9. Allegheny 21




10. Oberlin 12