The Hope College men’s basketball team is second in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association preseason coaches poll for the 2014-15 season.
Coach Greg Mitchell’s Flying Dutchmen received one first-place vote and totaled 13 points. They trailed unanimous preseason favorite Calvin. Coaches could not vote for their own teams.
Poll Results (first-place votes in parenthesis)
1. Calvin (7) 7 pts
2. Hope (1) 13
3. Trine 20
4. Albion 24
5. Alma 36
6. Adrian and Kalamazoo 39
8. Olivet 46
Hope, the 2013-14 MIAA champion for a league-best 37th league title, welcomes back 10 players who saw varsity action for the Flying Dutchmen last year.
“We’re super excited to get going,” Mitchell said. “We’ve got a team of 10 returners and a lot of depth at the guard position. Right now we’re trying to find our identity as the guys transition to me and I transition to them. I’m super excited about the initial buy-in, the attitude of the team and how hard they’re working. We’re excited to be where we are, but know we have a lot of work to do to compete in the league.”
Junior guard Alex Eidson of Grand Haven, Michigan (Grand Haven HS), was a first team All-MIAA selection who averaged 15.2 points per game and shot 51 percent from 3-point range against MIAA opponents as a sophomore.
Junior Ben Gardner of Carmel, Indiana (Carmel HS), returns to run the point for Hope. He was second team All-MIAA last season.
The team’s lone senior, guard Corey McMahon of Glenview, Illinois (Glenbrook South HS), led the MIAA in 3-point accuracy at 56 percent against league opponents.
Juniors Brock Benson of Willowbrook, Illinois (Hinsdale South HS), and Sam Otto of Wheaton, Illinois (Wheaton North HS), along with sophomores Cody Stuive of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville HS), and Harrison Blackledge of Canton, Ohio (Hoover HS), are expected to contribute along the front line.
Hope opens the 2014-15 season on Tuesday, Nov. 11, with an exhibition against NCAA Division II Grand Valley State University.
The Flying Dutch welcome 2014 Division III national champion Wisconsin-Whitewater to DeVos Fieldhouse for the regular-season opener on Tuesday, Nov. 18.