KCAC holds Tabor hoops teams in high regard this coming season

Members of the media and Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference coaches showed major respect for the Tabor College basketball programs during the annual Media Day gathering Oct. 17 in Wichita.

The coaches poll and media poll for men’s basketball picked South­western College as the favorite to win the conference crown this season, but the Bluejays were right behind.

Eight coaches voted the Moundbuilders as the No. 1 team with Tabor receiving the four remaining votes. In total points, the coaches gave Southwestern a 118-105 edge.

In the media poll, eight of the 20 media members voted for South­western as the top team, with Tabor receiving four first-place votes.

In the women’s basketball polls, both the coaches and media picked Tabor as the team to beat. Nine of the 10 coaches who voted picked the Bluejays to win the crown, with runner-up Friends earning one No. 1 vote.

Twelve of the 16 media members who voted picked Tabor to win the KCAC title, with four first-place for Friends, who placed third overall. In total points, Tabor scored 180, with Saint Mary second at 150 and Friends third at 146.

Men’s review—The return of South­wes­tern’s Cameron Hunt aided the Moundbuilders’ outlook for the new season. A year ago, Hunt averaged 24.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game as a sophomore, and started all 33 contests en route to becoming an NAIA DII honorable mention selection.

South­western posted a 23-10 overall record, finishing fourth in the KCAC with a 14-8 mark. The Builders advanced to the KCAC championship game before falling to No. 2-seeded York in a 109-104 overtime.

Meanwhile, Julian Win­ton returns for the Blue­jays following a junior campaign where he averaged 18.5 points per game.

Tabor finished first in the conference last season with a 19-3 record and was 25-10 overall. The Bluejays lost to Southwestern in the semifinals of the KCAC Tourna­ment, but were awarded a bid to the NAIA DII Tourna­ment, where they made their way to the Elite 8, defeating Davenport, 78-70, and Robert Morris, 88-82, before falling to Indiana Wesleyan, 64-62.

Women’s review—By their strong show of support, Media Day participants have high expectations for this year’s Tabor squad.

After winning the 2016-17 KCAC Tournament, the Bluejays defeated Indiana Institute of Technology, 67-58, in the first round of the NAIA DII Tournament, but eventually fell to the Univer­sity of Saint Francis, 69-53.

Morgan Ediger returns for the Bluejays following a 2016-17 season where she averaged 12.1 points, 4.0 rebounds per game and accumulated 52 steals and 21 blocked shots.

The Falcons, meanwhile, earned the KCAC regular season title with a 21-1 record and finished with a 28-6 overall record.

Friends advanced to the NAIA DII Tournament, defeating Hastings College 63-57, but fell to Saint Xavier University 96-66 in the second round.

Lexi Evans averaged 11.5 points per game last season and recorded 81 steals, 15 blocks and 85 total rebounds for the Falcons in 2016-17.

KCAC WOMEN

Coaches poll

1. Tabor (9) 116

2. Friends (1) 100

3. Saint Mary 98

4. Kan. Wesleyan 92

5. Sterling 75

6. Okla. Wesleyan 72

7. Ottawa 58

8. Southwestern 57

9. McPherson 54

10. Bethany 37

11. Bethel 18

12. York 15

Media poll

1. Tabor (12) 187

2. Saint Mary 150

3. Friends (4) 146

4. Kan. Wesleyan 140

5. Ottawa 124

6. Sterling 118

7. Okla. Wesleyan 110

T8. McPherson 82

T8. Southwestern 82

10. Bethany 58

11. Bethel 31

12. York 20

KCAC MEN

Coaches poll

1. Southwestern (8) 118

2. Tabor (4) 105

3. Okla. Wesleyan 101

4. York 87

5. Ottawa 84

6. Saint Mary 67

7. Friends 57

8. Kan. Wesleyan 50

9. McPherson 43

10. Bethany 41

11. Bethel 20

12. Sterling 19

Media poll

1. Southwestern (8) 170

2. Tabor (3) 167

3. York (1) 153

4. Ok. Wesleyan (3) 141

5. Ottawa 109

6. Saint Mary 107

4. Kan. Wesleyan 96

8. McPherson (1) 84

9. Bethany 78

10. Friends (4) 73

11. Bethel 46

12. Sterling 23