Bellarmine University has been picked to win the Great Lakes Valley Conference in 2018-19.
The Knights obtained 181 points and 12 first place votes in the preseason GLVC poll. Drury is second with 160 points.
INDIANAPOLIS – Bellarmine University has been selected to win the 2018-19 Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) men’s basketball title, it was announced by the Conference office Tuesday. The annual GLVC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll was voted on by the league coaches and ranks all 14 teams in predicted order of finish.
The GLVC regular season will no longer include the standard two divisions, or the three divisions that were adopted last year with 15 teams. The top-eight teams with the most points derived from the GLVC Point Rating System at the end of the regular season will earn a berth to the GLVC Basketball Championship Tournament on March 7-10 at the Vadalabene Center in Edwardsville, Illinois, on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
The Knights garnered the top spot in the preseason poll with 181 points, including 12 of the 13 available first-place votes given that Conference bylaws state a school cannot vote for itself. Last season the Knights were 29-3 overall and 16-2 in league play, having won both the GLVC Championship and East Division crowns. Bellarmine returns a large portion of the lettermen of that team, including senior forward Adam Eberhard along with a number of players who spent time in the 2017-18 starting lineup: Ben Weyer, Daniel Ramser, Tyler Jenkins, Chivarsky Corbett, and Alex Cook. Parker Chitty, a member of the GLVC All-Defensive Team, and CJ Fleming, a GLVC All-Freshman Team selection a year ago, also return to a ballclub that was recently recognized in national preseason rankings at No. 1 by DII Bulletin and No. 2 Street and Smith’s. Eberhard, who was one of two unanimous first-team All-GLVC selections last year, has been named a preseason All-American by both publications. The Knights will once again be under the direction of Scott Davenport, a four-time GLVC Coach of the Year entering his 14th season.
Drury University (21-8, 13-5 GLVC) will tip off the year as the second choice in the league, having garnered 160 points in the poll. The Panthers return all five starters and 14 lettermen from last year’s squad that shared the West Division title and advanced to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional. Senior guard Andrew Ballock and junior guard Isaac Johnson both earned second-team All-GLVC accolades last year, while senior forward Douglas Moore and senior guard John Williams were named to the All-Defensive Team. Steve Hesser will be on the sidelines for the 15th season at Drury – a span that has seen the Panthers earn the 2013 NCAA DII Championship, two Elite Eight appearances, eight NCAA postseason bids, and three GLVC titles.
Lewis University (15-14, 10-8) finished just three points shy of Drury in the poll and picked up the other two first-place votes. The Flyers have been picked to finish third in the league a year after securing the No. 7 seed in the GLVC Championship Tournament. Reigning second-team All-GLVC senior guard Delaney Blaylock returns to share the backcourt with graduate student Kendale McCullum, who sat out last year after transferring from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, where he was named first-team All-GLVC and a member of the All-Defensive squad. Scott Trost, who has led the Flyers to the GLVC Championship Tournament in each of his last 12 years, is back for his 13th season on the sidelines.
The University of Southern Indiana (20-11, 11-7) was picked fourth with 141 points, followed by University of Indianapolis (19-9, 12-6) in fifth with 138 points. Truman State University (20-11, 13-5), which shared the West Division title last year, earned 118 points in the poll to place sixth. The Bulldogs will be under the guidance of first-year head coach Jeff Horner, who was hired last spring after Chris Foster left to lead fellow league member McKendree University. Closing out the top-half of the Conference is William Jewell College (20-9, 10-8), which picked up 101 points for seventh place.
Maryville University (94 points), Rockhurst University (91) and University of Missouri-St. Louis (74) have been picked eighth through 10th, respectively. McKendree (64), University of Illinois Springfield (61), Quincy University (48) and Missouri S&T (28) round out the final four positions.
The 2018-19 GLVC men’s basketball season officially opens on Saturday, Nov. 3, with William Jewell participating in the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame Classic. The following Friday, Nov. 9, 10 teams will begin play, including Bellarmine, Drury, Illinois Springfield, Indianapolis, Maryville, Missouri-St. Louis, Quincy, Rockhurst, Southern Indiana, and Truman State. Lewis, McKendree and Missouri S&T will open their respective campaigns the following day.
The complete 2018-19 GLVC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll follows: