ANGOLA, IND. -- The Trine University men's basketball team was forecasted to finish in a tie for fifth place in the 2017-18 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Preseason Coaches Poll.
The Thunder finished with 24 points to tie with Albion (Mich.) College for fifth place out of eight teams. Hope (Mich.) College was picked as the favorite with 45 points and four first-place votes. Alma (Mich.) College was second with 40 points and two first-place votes, and Calvin (Mich.) College rounded out the top three teams with 39 points and two first-place votes.
Last year, Trine concluded the season 14-12 overall and made its sixth-straight appearance in the MIAA Tournament semifinals.
In 2017-18, Trine returns two players who started multiple games last year in junior forward Myles Copeland (Perrysburg, Ohio/Toledo St. John) and sophomore guard Langston Johnson (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Central). Both players saw action in all 26 games last year with Copeland starting seven games and Johnson starting five games.
Copeland averaged in double figures in scoring at 12.1 points per game to place third on the team. For the season, he shot 50.9 percent (115-of-226) and was amongst the team leaders in rebounding at 4.7 boards per game. In addition, Copeland was second on the team in free-throws made (83), free-throw attempts (111), and blocked shots (10). He also tallied 25 assists and 12 steals.
Johnson averaged 5.4 ppg. in his first season with the program while shooting 41.7 percent (48-of-115) overall with the majority of his shots coming from behind the arc where he shot 43.8 percent (39-of-89). His 39 made triples were second most on the team. He also dished out 30 assists, had 12 steals and blocked three shots.
Trine will open the 2017-18 season on the road with a matchup against Ohio Wesleyan University on Friday, Nov. 17 in a neutral site contest in Gambier, Ohio. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
|2017-18 MIAA MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON COACHES POLL|
|Rank||School (First-Place Votes)||Points|