HCAC Releases Preseason Coaches Poll; Four Grizzlies Named Players to Watch by League

HCAC Releases Preseason Coaches Poll; Four Grizzlies Named Players to Watch by League

GREENWOOD, Ind. – There's a sense of optimism surrounding the Franklin College men's basketball team as the team gets geared up for the start of the 2017-18 season.

The Grizzlies return nine players and just one starter from a year ago. But the Grizzlies will get a shot of youth into the program this year with 16 talented newcomers ready to hit the hardwood this winter.

While there will be a slew of new faces in action in the Spurlock Center this year, the Grizzlies aren't short on experience with this year's roster. Franklin returns five letter winners from one year ago, led by senior center John Beineke who is coming off a year in which he finished second on the Grizzlies in points (12.0) and rebounds (6.4) per game.

Joining him for another year in the blue and gold are letter winners Jordan Anderson, Blake Oakley, James Polston and Kyle Meyer. Gunnar Dittrich, Jordan Davis, Kale Morris and Borden Kennedy also return for another campaign.

Beineke and Morris are joined by freshmen Sam Gutierrez and Ismail Jones on the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's (HCAC) list of players to watch for 2017-18. The Grizzlies have been selected by the league's coaches to finish eighth this year.

Defending HCAC champion Hanover College was picked as favorites to repeat in the pre-season poll, garnering 99 points and nine first place votes.

The Grizzlies tip off the 2017-18 season on Wednesday, Nov. 15, when they head to Greencastle, Ind. to battle DePauw University. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.

2017-18 HCAC Pre-Season Coaches' Poll

Team (1st Place Votes)

Points

1. Hanover (9)

99

2. Mount St. Joseph (1)

88

3. Transylvania

73

4. Rose-Hulman

68

5. Anderson

67

6. Manchester

43

7. Defiance

33

8. Franklin

28

9. Bluffton

27

10. Earlham

24