Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska-Kearney men’s basketball team has been picked sixth in the 2017 MIAA Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The poll is voted upon by the league’s 14 head coaches; they cannot vote for their own teams. UNK, which tied for second in the MIAA last winter, received 104 points. Defending league champion Northwest Missouri State tallied 169 points and 13 of the 14 first place votes. Just ahead of the Lopers are Washburn (147), Fort Hays State (129), Lincoln (123) and Missouri Southern State (111). Kearney went 21-12 (14-8 MIAA) in 2015-16, reaching the finals of the MIAA Tournament and the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
UNK must replace All-American Connor Beranek and All-MIAA forward Ethan Brozek from that squad. Among the returning starters for head coach Kevin Lofton are 2016 All-MIAA pick Trey Lansman (Harlan, Ia.) and guards Ty Danielson (York) and Lane Rohrich (Pierce). Also, guard Isaiah McKay (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) returns to the court after missing most of last season due to injury. UNK doesn’t have any public scrimmages this fall. They begin the regular season November 11-12 with neutral site games against Southern Arkansas and Henderson State (Ark.) in Lancaster, Texas. The home opener is slated for Wednesday, November 16th, vs. Hastings College.