The Pomona-Pitzer men's basketball team was tabbed to finish first in the 2019-20 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Men's Basketball Preseason Poll as voted on by the league's member head coaches.
The Sagehens received seven of nine first place votes in the preseason poll and 78 total points after clinching the program's first SCIAC Postseason Tournament title in 2019 since winning the inaugural tournament title in 2008. Pomona-Pitzer finished the 2018-19 campaign 26-3 overall and 15-1 in SCIAC play en route to securing the top seed in the conference tournament. The Sagehens edged fourth-seeded Redlands in the tournament semifinals, 79-77 before knocking off third-seeded Occidental, 68-45 in the championship contest. A 58-37 victory over Texas-Dallas advanced the Sagehens through the opening round of the NCAA Division III Championship before they fell to Whitman, 83-74 in the second round. Pomona-Pitzer begins its 2019-20 season November 16 at Westmont.
Slotted to finish second this year in the preseason poll is Redlands which received 66 points on the strength of two first place votes. The Bulldogs - 15-11 overall, 10-6 SCIAC a year ago - were the fourth seed in the conference tournament in 2019. Redlands fell to eventual champion Pomona-Pitzer, 79-77 in the semifinals of the league tournament. The Bulldogs begin the new season on Friday, November 8 when it hosts Texas-Dallas.
After securing the second seed in the 2019 SCIAC Postseason Tournament with a 13-3 mark in league action, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) is picked to finish third entering the 2019-20 season. The Stags, who were edged in overtime by third-seeded Occidental, 64-62 in the tournament semifinals, will tip-off their 2019-20 slate on November 8 at Whitworth.
After missing the conference postseason a year ago, both Whittier and Chapman received 44 points in this year's preseason vote and were tabbed to finish fourth and fifth respectively. The Poets logged a 7-9 record in conference action, while the Panthers stood at 6-10 in SCIAC play. Whittier will host Linfield on November 8 in their opening contest, while Chapman will take on Pacific Lutheran on November 22 to begin their campaign.
Last year's third seed, Occidental received 43 points in the preseason vote ahead of the new season and was picked to finish sixth. The Tigers who posted a 12-4 record against SCIAC foes a year ago narrowly battled past second-seeded CMS in the SCIAC Tournament Semifinals before falling to Pomona-Pitzer, 68-45 in the championship tilt. Occidental hosts Yeshiva on November 9 to begin the 2019-20 season.
Caltech enters the new season predicted to finish seventh after placing eighth a year ago (4-12 SCIAC record in 2018-19). The Beavers received 36 points in the 2019-20 preseason poll and will host Yeshiva on November 10 to open up their campaign.
A seventh place finish fueled by a 5-11 mark against the SCIAC a year ago, California Lutheran received 22 points in the 2019-20 preseason poll and was picked to finish eighth. Rounding out the poll is La Verne which logged 10 points in the preseason vote. The Kingsmen will begin their new season on November 14 at Whitworth while the Leopards will take on Southwestern (Texas) on November 15.
2019-2020 SCIAC Preseason Poll
1. Pomona-Pitzer (7) - 78 points
2. Redlands (2) - 66 points
3. CMS - 62 points
4. Whittier - 44 points
5. Chapman - 44 points
6. Occidental - 43 points
7. Caltech - 36 points
8. Cal Lutheran - 22 points
9. La Verne - 10 points