Men’s Basketball Ranked No. 7 in Preseason Top-25 Poll

Men’s Basketball Ranked No. 7 in Preseason Top-25 Poll


St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 29, 2019 – The Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball team is ranked No. 7 in the 2019-20 Preseason Top-25 Poll, as announced by the website Tuesday.

WashU returns all five starters and 13 letterwinners from last year's squad, which won 10 of its last 12 games to finish with a 17-8 overall record. The Bears were second in the University Athletic Association (UAA) standings, and secured their 35th-straight winning season.

Junior guard Jack Nolan earned second-team all-region and first-team all-conference honors a year ago after averaging 16.1 points per game. He scored in double figures in 21 of 25 games starts.

Sophomore forward Justin Hardy, a preseason Street & Smith's All-America selection, started 25 games and was second on the squad averaging 14.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Hardy was named the 2019 University Athletic Association (UAA) Rookie of the Year and earned DIII News Freshman All-America honors.

Senior point guard Matt Nesterstarted all 25 games and averaged 10.7 points and 3.6 assists per game. Nester picked up second-team all-UAA honors in 2018-19.

Senior center Hank Hunter earned honorable-mention all-UAA honors after averaging 10.2 points and a team-leading 7.3 rebounds per game. Hunter shot 62.0 percent from the field and had a team-best seven double-doubles in 13 starts.

Senior forward DeVaughn Rucker (8.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 10 starts) and senior guard Jonathan Arenas (5.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 15 starts) both return after seeing time in the starting lineup a year ago.

Also returning for WashU are sophomore forward Kameron Mack (2.7 ppg), junior guard Payden Webb (2.3 ppg) and sophomore guard Charlie Jacob (2.3 ppg).

Head coach Pat Juckem will toe the sidelines for his second season at WashU. Juckem has a 216-161 (.573) overall record in 14 seasons as a head coach. 

2019 National Runner-Up Swarthmore enters the season as the preseason No. 1 team in NCAA Division III. Wisconsin-Oshkosh, the reigning national champion, was picked second, while North Central (No. 3), Amherst (No. 4) and Wittenberg (No. 5) round out the top five.

The Bears will face two teams ranked in the preseason top-25: No. 6 Emory University (Feb. 2, Feb. 9) and No. 17 Augustana (Dec. 1).

WashU takes on Missouri State in an exhibition game Wednesday, Oct. 30, before opening its season at Illinois College on Sunday, Nov. 10.