Toledo and Akron Favored in MAC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll

Updated 10/21/1999
CLEVELAND (October 21) -- If the MAC News Media Association preseason poll is any indication, the 1999-2000 men's basketball season is going to be up for grabs from no less than seven teams that were predicted to win the tournament among the 38 voting members.

Akron was picked to win the MAC East Division, Toledo the West Division, and yet another team, Kent, received the most votes to win the tournament to be played at Gund Arena in Cleveland on March 5,6 and 8, 2000.

A total of nine teams received votes as candidates to win their respective divisions. East members Kent (17), Akron (15), Ohio (4) and Marshall (2) gained first-place recognition while in the West, Toledo (20), Ball State (11), Northern Illinois (3), Western Michigan (3) and Central Michigan (1) were noticed.

Akron returns 1999 first team all-MAC and preseason all-MAC guard Jami Bosley and second team all-MAC guard Jimmal Ball. Bosley finished third in the MAC in scoring (18.6) and Ball added 14.2 ppg.

Kent is the defending tournament champion and is coming off a school-record 23-win season. 1999 MAC Tournament and preseason all-MAC pick John Whorton (12.8 ppg) and the versatile Kyrem Massey (11.0) lead the Golden Flashes.

Bowling Green was picked third in the East and have perhaps the most versatile player in the league in Anthony Stacey. Stacey finished among the top 10 in the MAC in scoring, steals, field goal percentage and free throw percentage. Marshall was selected fourth and the Thundering Herd returns all five starters, including leading scorer J.R. VanHoose (14.7). Ohio was picked fifth, but yet received four first-place votes. The Bobcats are paced by all-MAC second team selection Shaun Stonerook (13.6 ppg, 9.1 rpg). Defending MAC champion Miami, with the loss of Wally Szczerbiak, is predicted to finish sixth and Buffalo seventh.

Toledo is picked to defend its West Division title, gaining 20 first-place votes. The Rockets return all-MAC player Greg Stempin (15.3 ppg), a 6-8 forward who is also the only junior on the preseason all-MAC team. Ball State received 11 first place votes and is expected to seriously challenge the Rockets. BSU returns second team all-MAC player Duane Clemens (6-0, G).

The 3-4-5 spots are a toss up with Northern Illinois (3 first place votes), Western Michigan (3) and Central Michigan (1) picked in that order. NIU's T.J. Lux, a preseason all-MAC pick and a two-time Academic All-American, returns from a redshirt injury season to lead the Huskies, and 1999 MAC Freshman-of-the-Year Mike Manciel returns for CMU. Eastern Michigan is slotted for the sixth position.

MAC Preseason Poll

East Division
School (1st-place votes)  Points  To Win Tournament
1. Akron (15)		   230		12
2. Kent (17)		   220		15
3. Bowling Green 	   173		3
4. Marshall (2)		   150		2
5. Ohio (4)		   146		4
6. Miami		   103		-
7. Buffalo		    40		-

West Division
School (1st-place votes)  Points  To Win Tournament
1. Toledo (20)		    189		 1
2. Ball State (11)	    162		 -
3. Northern Illinois (3)    128		 1
4. Western Michigan (3)	    117	         -
5. Central Michigan (1)	    116	         -
6. Eastern Michigan	     87	         -

Votes: East Division points awarded on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis; West Division points awarded on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.