The University of Minnesota Morris men’s basketball team was picked to finish fifth in the UMAC Preseason Poll, released by the conference office on Wednesday.
The University of Northwestern will enter the 2021-22 season as the favorites in the UMAC, receiving 48 points and six first-place votes in the poll of the conference’s head coaches. Bethany Lutheran College was second, finishing with 43 points and the remaining two first-place votes. Third place belonged to North Central University with 36 points and the University of Wisconsin-Superior took fourth place with 31 points.
Minnesota Morris topped the lower half of the UMAC standings with 26 points to finish in fifth place. Crown College ended in sixth place with 20 points. Down at the bottom of the standings, Martin Luther College was seventh with 12 points and Northland College was eighth with eight points.
The Cougars return their top 12 scorers from last season’s 4-6 squad, led by UMAC Honorable Mention selections Dillon Haider and Jaret Johnson. Haider was the top scorer for the Cougars in 2020-21, scoring 16.2 points per game. Johnson was second on the team in scoring and led UMN Morris in rebounding with averages of 12.5 points and 6.2 boards per game. Along with nearly everyone from last year’s roster, the Cougars have added four newcomers who could have an immediate impact.
The 2021-22 season opens for Minnesota Morris at home on Nov. 5 with the Cougars hosting Concordia College (MN) at 7:45 p.m. on Jim Gremmels Court. UMAC play begins at home against North Central on Dec. 10 and the regular season concludes on Feb. 19 with a Senior Day matchup against Northland.