Men’s Basketball Ranked No. 21 in D3Hoops.com Preseason Top-25 Poll
St. Louis, Mo., October 18, 2012 – The Washington University in St. Louis men’s basketball team is ranked No. 21 in the 2012 D3Hoops.com Preseason Top-25 poll, as announced by the website. The Bears were also ranked No. 14 in the DIII News Preseason Top-25 Poll.
MIT, which returns four starters from a team that went 29-2 and reached the Final Four in 2012, is the preseason No. 1 team in the D3Hoops.com Top-25 Poll. Virginia Wesleyan University, defending national champion University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Middlebury College and Amherst College round out the top five.
Washington University returns 16 letterwinners and three starters from last year’s team, that posted a 20-7 overall record, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bears also captured their 11th University Athletic Association (UAA) title with an 11-3 conference mark.
Junior forward Chris Klimek, a second-team all-UAA honoree a year ago, emerged in the second half of the season and finished second on the team in scoring (12.1 ppg) while pulling down a team-best 5.4 rebounds per game. He also ranked sixth in the UAA in field-goal percentage (.530). Klimek scored in double figures in 16 of 20 games played.
Junior Tim Cooney started 22 games a year ago at shooting guard and earned honorable-mention all-UAA honors. Cooney averaged 6.2 points and 3.7 rebounds per game for the Bears. Also returning in the backcourt is junior guard Alan Aboona, who started 17 of 27 games at point guard averaging 6.4 points per game. Aboona was seventh in the UAA in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8) and eighth in assists (3.6).
Off the bench, Washington U. returns sophomore forward Matt Palucki (6.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg), senior guard Ben Hoener (6.2 ppg, 3.7 apg) and senior center Robert Burnett (4.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg).
Head coach Mark Edwards enters his 32nd season at his alma mater with an overall record of 562-258 (.686). The winningest coach in school history, Edwards has guided the Bears to a school-record 28-consecutive winning seasons, 11 UAA championships, 16 NCAA Tournaments and the 2008 and 2009 NCAA Division III National Championship.
Washington University opens regular-season play on Saturday, Nov. 17, against Trinity University (Texas). Tip-off is set for 2 p.m., in Chicago, Ill.