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Mississippi College Overwhelming Favorite to Win East Division Men's Basketball Crown; Hardin-Simmons Choice in Tight West Race
October 17, 2006

RICHARDSON, Texas –– Mississippi College and Hardin-Simmons University have been predicted to win the 2006-07 American Southwest Conference East and West Division men’s basketball titles, respectively, after a vote of each the division’s head coaches and sports information directors as well as selected media members, the conference office announced on Tuesday.

Mississippi College, which compiled a 29-2 record – 21-1 in league play – last season and won the ASC Championship Tournament and reached the sectionals of the NCAA Division III Championship, picked up 15 of 17 possible first-place votes. Head coach Mike Jones’ Choctaws have been ranked as high as second in preseason national polls. MC totaled 37 more points than the University of Texas at Dallas (80 points), which picked up the other two top-spot votes.

University of Ozarks tallied 74 points, edging East Texas Baptist University by one mark for the third place spot. University of Texas at Tyler (62 pts.), LeTourneau University (39 pts.) and Louisiana College (31 pts.) rounded out the seven-team East Division.

In the West, Hardin-Simmons University rose to the top after a fourth-place showing in 2005-06 in which it finished 14-11 overall and 13-9 in league play. Head coach Dylan Howard’s Cowboys totaled 135 points and picked up nine of 18 first-place votes. Only two points separated the second and third spots, which went to defending West Champion and ASC Championship Tournament finalist Howard Payne University (125 pts.) and University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (123 pts.), respectively. The Yellow Jackets scored six top-spot votes, while the Crusaders garnered three.

McMurry University (107 pts.) received the other two first-place votes and landed the fourth spot in the eight-team division, followed by Concordia University at Austin (76 pts.), Sul Ross State University (63 pts.), Texas Lutheran University (58 pts.) and Schreiner University (33 pts.).

ASC men’s basketball teams may begin the 2006-07 season as early as November 17. The eight-team ASC Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament is slated for February 23-25 at the site of the East Division’s No. 1 seed. The conference tourney winner earns an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship.

2006-2007 PRESEASON MEN’S BASKETBALL

East Division Team (1st place votes) Pts. *2005-06 Records
1 Mississippi College (15) 117 29-2, 21-1 ASC
2 Texas-Dallas (2) 80 11-15, 11-11 ASC
3 Ozarks 74 14-12, 14-8 ASC
4 East Texas Baptist 73 14-12, 14-8 ASC
5 Texas-Tyler 62 9-16, 9-13 ASC
6 LeTourneau 39 8-17, 7-15 ASC
7 Louisiana College 31 8-17, 8-14 ASC
     
West Division Team (1st place votes) Pts. *2005-06 Records
1 Hardin-Simmons (9) 135 14-11, 13-9 ASC
2 Howard Payne (6) 125 20-7, 17-5 ASC
3 Mary Hardin-Baylor (3) 123 18-9, 16-6 ASC
4 McMurry (2) 107 18-9, 16-6 ASC
5 Concordia-Austin 76 6-18, 5-17 ASC
6 Sul Ross State 63 13-13, 13-9 ASC
7 Texas Lutheran 58 7-17, 6-16 ASC
8 Schreiner 33 4-20, 4-18 ASC

*Austin College (3-22, 2-20 ASC), which is no longer a member of the ASC, competed in the East Division last season


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