2004-05 NWC Men's Basketball Coaches Poll

2004-05 Men's Basketball Coaches Pre-Season Poll:

School (1st) Pts. 2003-04 All 2003-04 NWC
Puget Sound (Wash.) (8) 88 24-3 15-1
Whitworth (Wash.) (1) 64 19-6 12-4
Linfield (Ore.)   56 14-11 9-7
Willamette (Ore.)   54 17-8 12-4
Lewis & Clark (Ore.)   51 15-10 8-8
George Fox (Ore.)   37 7-18 3-13
Pacific (Ore.)   29 11-14 7-9
Pacific Lutheran (Wash.)   20 7-18 3-13
Whitman (Wash.)   16 6-19 3-13

(First-place votes in parenthesis. Points awarded on 10-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis).

Puget Sound Strong Favorite to Repeat Men's Basketball Championship

Spokane, Wash. - The Northwest Conference men's basketball coaches predict that the University of Puget Sound will return to the top of the NWC standings, where the Loggers finished as conference champions in 2003-04.

UPS picked up eight out of nine first place votes and 88 total points in the poll to easily outdistance Whitworth College. The Loggers won their first ever Northwest Conference title last season and finished 24-3 before losing in the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament. Head Coach Eric Bridgeland, the 2004 NWC Coach of the Year, must overcome the graduation of 2004 NWC Player of the Year Matt Glynn, but will welcome back Second Team All-NWC guard Chase Curtiss.

Whitworth received the other first place vote and 64 points. The Pirates must replace three of five starters from 2004 if they hope to challenge for their second NWC title in three years.

Linfield finished third in the poll with 56 points, followed closely by Willamette (54 points) and Lewis & Clark (51 points). Linfield returns First Team All-NWC guard Blake Shelton and three other starters. Willamette lost a pair of all-conference performers in David Force and Miles Sandgathe. Lewis & Clark must also replace All-NWC forward John Mietus.

George Fox returns First Team All-NWC forward Mark Gayman. The Bruins are sixth in the poll with 37 points. Pacific follows in seventh with 29 points. The Boxers have back honorable mention all-conference guard Brandon Kawazoe.

Pacific Lutheran (20 points) and Whitman (16 points) round out the poll in eighth and ninth place, respectively.

For the second consecutive year, the Northwest Conference will not use a conference tournament to decide the automatic (Pool A) bid to the NCAA tournament. That bid will go to the conference champion and winner of the regular season.

Several teams begin play on November 19th.