The Pomona-Pitzer men's basketball team was voted to finish first in the 2018-19 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Preseason Poll as voted on by the league's member head coaches.
Pomona-Pitzer received five first place votes, and three second place votes en route to 75 points in the preseason poll heading into the 2018-19 campaign. The Sagehens finished last season 15-12 overall and garnered the third seed in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament after posting a 12-4 mark in conference play. Pomona-Pitzer advanced past second-seeded Occidental, 71-60 in the semifinals before falling to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) in the tournament title game.
The Tigers were vote to finish second in the SCIAC standings in 2018-19 after securing the second seed in the conference tournament a year ago. Occidental, which received three first place votes and 67 points in this year's preseason poll, were 19-7 overall (12-4 SCIAC) in 2017-18 and were elimated in the tournament semifinals by Pomona-Pitzer.
Last year's SCIAC postseason fourth seed Chapman enters this season in third place in the preseason voting with 62 points. The Panthers were 17-9 overall, 10-6 in SCIAC play last year, and fell to the league tournament champion Stags, 83-72 in the semifinals.
CMS picked up 53 points in the 2018-19 SCIAC preseason poll and will look to defend its conference tournament title after finishing last year's campaign with an overall ledger of 20-8 (15-1 SCIAC). The Stags clinched the tournament championship and the SCIAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship where it earned a thrilling, 83-82 win over Whitworth in first round action before falling to Whitman, 89-84 (OT) in the second round.
Whittier's 2017-18 squad finished fifth in the league standings and was voted to do the same this year after logging a 10-16 mark (8-8 SCIAC) a year ago. The Poets received a first place vote and 41 points in the preseason voting - just one point ahead of Redlands (40 points). The Bulldogs placed seventh last year and are slotted to finish a step above this year after posting a record of 7-18 (5-11 SCIAC) last season.
California Lutheran was picked to finish seventh in the 2018-19 preseason poll with 32 points, while Caltech (20 points) and La Verne (15 points) round out the preseason vote.
The 2018-19 season is set to begin Friday, November 9 when La Verne hosts Oberlin in non-conference play at 7 p.m.
2018-19 SCIAC Preseason Poll
1. Pomona-Pitzer (5) - 75 points
2. Occidental (3) - 67 points
3. Chapman - 62 points
4. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) - 53 points
5. Whittier (1) - 41 points
6. Redlands - 40 points
7. California Lutheran - 32 points
8. Caltech - 20 points
9. La Verne - 15 points