The Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) has released its 2012-13 Preseason Basketball Coaches’ polls for both the men and the women. The Nebraska Wesleyan University men were picked to finish ninth and women were picked to finish 11th in the respective GPAC polls. Returning GPAC regular season champion Dordt College is picked to win the men, while reigning GPAC Champion Concordia University was the pick to repeat on the women’s side.
The NWU men received 29 total points to finish 9th in the poll. Dordt got 99 total points and nine first place votes as the preseason favorite, while Northwestern College was picked second with 92 points and the other two first place votes. Dordt was 30-5 last season and returns all five starters.
NWU head coach Cam Schuknecht, entering his seventh season, is expected to return all three starters and eight letterwinners from the 2011-12 team that finished 12-14 overall and 8-12 in GPAC to finish sixth in the GPAC standings. The Prairie Wolves qualified for their first GPAC Postseason Tournament in 2012, earning the No. 6 seed.
The Prairie Wolves men open practice on Monday (Oct. 15) with their first regular season games taking place the weekend of Nov. 16-17 at the Dominican/Concordia Classic in River Forest, Illinois. NWU will take on Concordia University (Ill.) on Nov. 16. The Prairie Wolves home opener will also be their GPAC opener when they host Concordia University on Nov. 20 in Snyder Arena.
The NWU women received 15 points in the coaches’ poll to finish 11th. Concordia got 96 points and seven first place votes, while Northwestern College had 93 points and four first place votes. The Bulldogs were 34-3 last season and advanced to the NAIA II Semifinals, while Northwestern is the three-time defending National Champion.
Nebraska Wesleyan is coming off a 2011-12 season where they finished 5-20 overall and 2-18 in GPAC to end the year 11th in the standings. Head coach Eric Jensen, starting his fifth season, returns three starters and eight letterwinners to this season’s squad.
The Prairie Wolves women also open practice on Oct. 15, with their first contest on Nov. 16-17 when they take part in the Colorado College Classic. NWU opens play against Macalester on the 16th.