BURNSVILLE, Minn. -- The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference released its 2016-17 Preseason Coaches’ Poll today, selecting Bemidji State University men’s basketball to finish 14th overall and seventh in the North Division. Senior forward Ben Best was named the Beavers’ Player to Watch after leading the program in scoring and rebounds last season.
Minnesota State University Mankato, who knocked Bemidji State out of the 2015-16 NSIC Tournament, was selected as the conference favorite with 11 first place votes and 220 points overall. 2016-17 NCAA Division II Champions Augustana University fell second with two first place votes and 190 points overall. NSIC North programs Minnesota State University Moorhead and St. Cloud State University tied for third at 183 points each, while MSUM garnered one first place vote. Bemidji State earned 57 points to finish 14th in the overall poll.
In the NSIC North Division Poll, MSU Moorhead was selected first with four first-place votes and 46 points overall. St. Cloud State followed in second with 44 points and four first-place votes while Northern State University was slotted third with 39 points. Bemidji State took 18 points in the divisional poll to rank seventh.
St. Cloud State guard Gage Davis was selected as the NSIC North Division Preseason of the Year while Minnesota State Mankato forward Jon Fuqua was selected as the NSIC South Division Preseason Player of the Year.
NSIC coaches rank each team from one to 15 with a first place vote receiving 15 points, second place 14, third place 13, etc. Coaches do not rank their own team or vote for their own players.
Ben Best, a senior forward from Drummond, Wis., was selected as BSU’s Player to Watch. In addition to leading the program with 11.8 points per game and 138 rebounds, Best also led with a .523 field goal percentage, 124 field goals and 22 blocks. He finished his junior season with 318 total points while playing 26 minutes per game.
The Beavers finished the 2015-16 season 10-17 overall and 7-15 in the NSIC. Bemidji State returns five letterwinners from a season ago while bringing in seven new student-athletes.
Head Coach Mike Boschee enters his fifth season with the program while totaling a 54-57 record with the Beavers.
Bemidji State begins the 2016-17 season with two exhibitions games against Division I opponents, first facing University of Northern Iowa at 7 p.m. Oct. 28 in Cedar Falls, Iowa before traveling to Minneapolis to face University of Minnesota at 7 p.m. Nov. 3.
|1. Minnesota State (11)||220||1. MSU Moorhead (4)||46|
|2. Augustana (2)||190||2. St. Cloud State (4)||44|
|3. MSU Moorhead (1)||183||3. Northern State||39|
|3. St. Cloud State||183||4. University of Mary||28|
|5. Winona State (1)||174||5. Minot State||21|
|6. Sioux Falls (1)||172||6. Minnesota Duluth||20|
|7. Northern State||151||7. Bemijdi State||18|
|8. Southwest Minnesota State||124||8. Minnesota Crookston||8|
|9. Upper Iowa||102||South Division||Points|
|10. University of Mary||96||1. Minnesota State (5)||47|
|11. Concordia-St. Paul||73||2. Augustana (2)||42|
|12. Minnesota Duluth||72||3. Sioux Falls (1)||36|
|12. Minot State||72||4. Winona State||35|
|14. Bemidji State||57||5. Southwest Minn. State||23|
|15. Wayne State||29||6. Upper Iowa||20|
|16. Minnesota Crookston||22||7. Concordia-St. Paul||14|
|first place votes in ()||8. Wayne State||7|
Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).