/sports/mbkb/2018-19/releases/20181031q15o5c

JWU Men's Basketball 9th in Preseason SCAC Poll

Senior guard Jontrell Herman is one of four returning starters for the Wildcats this season, their first as a member of the SCAC.
Senior guard Jontrell Herman is one of four returning starters for the Wildcats this season, their first as a member of the SCAC.

The Johnson & Wales men's basketball team will have a chip on its shoulder as the Wildcats begin their first season as a member of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Association. As the league's newcomer, JWU finished ninth in the SCAC preseason coaches poll released by the conference on Wednesday. 

Sixth-year head coach Quintin Grogan returns four starters from last year's team that is making the jump up from NAIA to Division III. That quartet includes the program's top two all-time leading scorers, guards Andrew Romero III and Jontrell Herman, who are both poised for big senior seasons. Romero averaged a career-best 26.3 points and 7.4 rebounds as a junior while shooting 50.0 percent from the field. Herman averaged 18.2 points and 5.0 rebounds a season ago.

Senior guard Bailey Stephens (7.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg) and senior forward King Grant-Perry (6.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg) are also returning to the starting lineup for Grogan. Senior guard Dakota Patton, sophomore guard Jalen Scandrett, junior guard Tim Leutritz and senior forward Jonny Pomerleau each add valuable experience as well, while newcomers Charles Young, Jordan Miles and Taka Hall could make an immediate impact for the Wildcats in 2018-19.

JWU will be battle-tested this season after facing a slate a year ago that included challenging matchups against the likes of Northern Colorado, UCCS, Regis, Denver, New Mexico Highlands, Fort Lewis and Air Force. JWU faced three SCAC teams during the 2017-18 campaign, beating Colorado College 88-78 while falling in a double-overtime at Centenary 111-109 and at Dallas 82-65.

JWU travels to face Air Force for an exhibition on Nov. 6 before opening the season Friday, Nov. 16 against Wisconsin-River Falls in a neutral site game at Colorado College. The Wildcats host Whittier for their home opener Saturday, Dec. 1 before their first SCAC contest Tuesday, Nov. 4 against Colorado College. 

2018-19 SCAC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses, followed by total points)

1.

Trinity University (4)

55

2.

Centenary College (2)

51

3.

Schreiner University (2)

50

4.

Texas Lutheran University (1)

49

5.

Southwestern University

41

6.

University of Dallas

26

7.

Austin College

19

8.

Colorado College

18

9.

Johnson & Wales University 

11