|2011-12 Men's Basketball Coaches Pre-Season Poll:|
|School||(1st)||Pts.||2010-11 All||2010-11 NWC|
|1. Whitworth (Wash.)||(6)||67||28-2||15-1|
|2. Whitman (Wash.)||(3)||61||19-8||11-5|
|3. Lewis & Clark (Ore.)||52||18-8||11-5|
|4. Puget Sound (Wash.)||42||10-15||7-9|
|5. Pacific Lutheran (Wash.)||29||15-10||10-6|
|6. Willamette (Ore.)||27||7-18||4-12|
|7. George Fox (Ore.)||24||8-17||6-10|
|8. Linfield (Ore.)||21||9-16||5-11|
|9. Pacific (Ore.)||10||4-21||3-13|
(First-place votes in parenthesis. Points awarded on 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis).
Whitworth is Picked to Win Again in 2011-12
Spokane, Wash. - Despite the graduation of the NCAA Division III Player of the Year and a change in the coaching staff, Whitworth University has been picked to win a third straight Northwest Conference men's basketball championship in 2011-12, according to the preseason poll of conference coaches.
Whitworth picked up six of nine first place votes and 67 out of a possible 72 points in the poll. The Pirates return three key players from last winter, including Second Team All-NWC post Felix Friedt, honorable mention All-NWC forward Jack Loofburrow and point guard Wade Gebbers. The Bucs are playing under new head coach Matt Logie and will need to move on without 2011 NCAA Division III Player of the Year Michael Taylor.
Whitman College, which handed Whitworth its only conference loss last season, is a strong second place in the poll with three first place votes and 61 points. Senior guard Brandon Shaw was a First Team All-NWC pick last season, while fellow guard Josh Duckworth was an honorable mention selection.
Lewis & Clark College is third in the poll with 52 points. The Pioneers return First Team All-NWC guard P.J. Taylor and welcome back James Hollins, who was injured all of last season after earning Second Team All-NWC in 2010.
The University of Puget Sound (42 points) is fourth in the poll. The Loggers will look to Second Team All-NWC forward Kaleb Shelton to lead the way this season.
Pacific Lutheran University (29) is fifth in the poll after making the NWC tournament last winter. Junior guard Andrew Earnest was an honorable mention All-League honoree in 2011.
Willamette (27) was close behind in sixth place in the preseason poll. Senior post Taylor Mounts, a Second Team All-NWC selection last winter, will anchor the Bearcats this year.
George Fox University (24) is seventh in the poll. Senior wing Mike Taylor, who earned Second Team All-NWC last season, returns to lead the Bruins.
Linfield College (21) is eighth in the preseason poll. Junior wing Zach Anderson is the leading returning scorer for the Wildcats.
Pacific University rounds out the poll with 10 points. Senior guard Carson Bartlett is the top returning scorer.
The Northwest Conference determines its champion by the results of the regular season. The league will use a conference tournament, comprised of the top four regular season teams, to decide the automatic (Pool A) bid to the NCAA tournament.
The season officially gets underway on November 15th.