|2008-09 Men's Basketball Coaches Pre-Season Poll:|
|School||(1st)||Pts.||2007-08 All||2007-08 NWC|
|Puget Sound (Wash.)||(5)||80||19-7||11-5|
|Lewis & Clark (Ore.)||46||15-9||9-7|
|Pacific Lutheran (Wash.)||26||11-13||7-9|
|George Fox (Ore.)||13||9-16||5-11|
(First-place votes in parenthesis. Points awarded on 10-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis).
Puget Sound Edges Whitworth in 2008-09 NWC Poll
Spokane, Wash. - Two returning First Team All-Northwest Conference honorees are expected to lead Puget Sound to the 2008-09 men's basketball championship, knocking off two-time defending champion Whitworth in the process.
The Loggers picked up five first place votes and 80 points in the poll. UPS returns four starters, including First Team All-NWC guard Antwan Williams and First Team all-conference forward Jason Foster, from a squad that finished 19-7 last season and 11-5 in the NWC.
Whitworth is second in the poll with three first place votes and 74 points. The Pirates must move forward without 2008 NWC Player of the Year Ryan Symes and First Team All-NWC honoree Colin Willemsen, but will look to Cousy Award nominee Ross Nakamura for leadership.
The next four spots in the poll are filled by teams that shared third place in the final 2008 NWC standings. Willamette, which enjoyed the advantage of the tiebreakers to advance to the NWC playoffs last season, is third in the poll with 55 points. The Bearcats return Second Team All-NWC post Kyler McClary.
Pacific (Ore.) (50 points) is fourth in the poll, just ahead of Lewis & Clark (46). The Boxers welcome back First Team All-NWC guard Gerold Howe, and 2007 All-NWC forward Ross Bartlett, who was injured last season. Lewis & Clark returns senior starters David Berggren (guard) and Tyson Pappenfus (post).
Linfield is sixth in the poll with 41 points. The Wildcats return sophomore center K.C. Wiser, who was the only underclassman to earn either First or Second Team All-NWC honors last season, as part of the Second Team.
Whitman is seventh in the poll (29) points, and picked up the final first place vote. Senior guard Chris Faidley was a Second Team All-NWC choice last season after leading the conference in scoring (22.2 ppg).
Pacific Lutheran is eighth in the poll (26 points). Senior wing Josh Dressler was the second leading scorer in the NWC last season and returns to lead the Lutes.
Ninth place in the poll went to George Fox with 13 points. The Bruins will have to overcome the graduation of First Team All-NWC point guard Brent Satern.
The Northwest Conference will use a conference tournament to decide the automatic (Pool A) bid to the NCAA tournament.
The season officially gets underway on Saturday, November 15th.