LOCK HAVEN, PA –IUP has been picked to repeat as Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division champions as the Crimson Hawks were chosen first in the preseason men’s basketball coaches’ poll, released on Thursday afternoon.
IUP is gunning for another run at the PSAC tournament championship after winning the title in 2010 and 2011. The Crimson Hawks have reached the postseason in each of the last five years under Head Coach Joe Lombardi, including runs in the NCAA tournament each of the last four. Last year saw IUP go 23-6 overall, including an impressive 19-3 record in the conference, advancing to the PSAC and NCAA Atlantic Region semifinals.
The Crimson Hawks received three first place votes in the West while rival Slippery Rock finished second in the voting, also with three votes.
Gannon and Edinboro each received one first place vote and finished third and fourth, respectively, while California came in fifth. Mercyhurst came in sixth in the voting while Clarion was seventh and Lock Haven was eighth.
In the East, last year’s tournament champion East Stroudsburg received seven first place votes to pace the division. PSAC runner up West Chester is picked second, garnering one first place vote, while Bloomsburg is third and Kutztown is fourth. Millersville, Mansfield, Shippensburg and Cheyney round out the rest of the voting in the East, picked fifth through eighth, respectively.
The Crimson Hawks play a pair of high-profile Division I teams in exhibitions to start the season, going to Pittsburgh on October 26 and then traveling to Maryland on November 2. IUP officially tips off the season on November 10 against Pitt-Greensburg at the KCAC.