Wade Steinlage, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications
OSKALOOSA – The Statesmen men’s basketball team has eyes set on hardware this winter and the league’s coaches also believe William Penn is the cream of the crop as the Heart of America Athletic Conference preseason coaches poll was announced Tuesday.
WPU, which was 30-3 last year (21-3 Heart), is the favorite to win the 14-team league with 169 points and 13 of the 14 first-place votes.
Newcomer Park has earned the other top nod along with 139 points. Benedictine and Clarke are right behind the Pirates, tying for third with 137 points, while MidAmerica Nazarene is up there as well with 132 points for fifth place.
Peru State broke the century mark with 100 points to lead the also-ran section. Central Methodist and Evangel (91 each) are seventh, while Baker (72) and Missouri Valley (70) are in the top 10. The rest of the lineup includes Mount Mercy (57), Graceland and Grand View (31 each), and Culver-Stockton (17).
William Penn starts the 2020-2021 year with a road trip to Forest City on November 3 to play Waldorf in non-conference play. The Statesmen open league action on November 14 with a road battle versus Benedictine in Atchison, Kan.
2020-2021 Heart Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
(Number in parentheses is first-place votes)
1. William Penn–169 (13)
2. Park–139 (1)
5. MidAmerica Nazarene–132
6. Peru State–100
7. Central Methodist–91
10. Missouri Valley–70
11. Mount Mercy–57
12. Grand View–31