Cal Poly’s men’s basketball team garnered three first-place votes in the Big West Conference preseason poll, and senior forward Chris Eversley was named to the preseason all-conference team Thursday.
The Mustangs were third in the poll behind UC Irvine, which had nine first-place votes, and UC Santa Barbara, which had six. They are coming off a season in which they set program records for Big West wins (12) and winning percentage (.667) as they advanced to their first postseason ever in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Eversley earned his selection on the strength of last season, when he averaged 15.4 points and seven rebounds per game, both top-10 marks in the Big West.
Long Beach State (five first-place votes), UC Davis, Hawaii, Cal State Northridge (one), Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside followed the Mustangs in the preseason poll. The Anteaters, who topped the poll, bolstered last season’s Big West champion squad with a heralded recruiting class. Incoming freshmen Mamadou Ndiaye (7-foot-6), who chose UC Irvine over offers from Georgetown amongst others, and Ioannis Dimakopoulos (7-foot-2) join sophomore Conor Clifford (7-foot) to form one of the nation’s largest frontcourts.
Joining Eversley on the all-conference team are Mike Caffey, a junior guard from Long Beach State, Will Davis, a junior forward from UC Irvine, Corey Hawkins, a junior guard from UC Davis, Christian Standhardinger, a senior forward from Hawaii and Alan Williams, a junior center from UC Santa Barbara.
Cal Poly’s women were picked first Wednesday, earning 17 of 20 first-place votes as senior center Molly Schlemer was named to the all-conference team. Hawaii (three) was the only other team to muster first-place consideration. In order, Cal State Northridge, Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine and UC Riverside followed the Mustangs and Hawaii.
Seeking to defend its title, Cal Poly will lean on Schlemer (13.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and guards Ariana Elegado and Jonae Ervin. The Mustangs return 11 members of last season’s record-breaking 21-win team.
On the all-conference team, Brittany Crain of UC Riverside, Sydnee Fipps of UC Davis, Ashlee Guay of Cal State Northridge, Kamilah Jackson of Hawaii and Alex Sanchez of Long Beach State joined the Cal Poly center.