The Mid-American Conference released it’s annual preseason poll recently, with a three-way race for the top spot immediately apparent. The gap between #1 and #3 is just 8 votes, and all their teams receiving at least two first place votes. Personally, I think their number 3 team, Akron, is going to win it all... though, I’ve been wrong before.
They also released a first and a second team, with no preseason player of the year, nor any of the other individual awards, a bit of a surprise, as it is typically tradition for most CBB conferences this time of year. My memory does no good for remembering if this is something which has happened in the past with the MAC.
Anyway, let’s get into the rankings proper. Here is a list of the teams:
2022-23 MAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll
(First Place Votes denoted in parenthesis)
1. Kent State (6) – 135 total points
2. Toledo (4) – 131
3. Akron (2) – 127
4. Ball State — 94
5. Ohio — 91
6. Buffalo — 82
7. Eastern Michigan — 68
8. Western Michigan — 66
9. Bowling Green — 42
10. Central Michigan — 38
11. Miami — 36
12. Northern Illinois — 26
Some immediate observations are that both Buffalo and Bowling Green are both really interesting teams that could be really, really good, but seem to be under-ranked due to uncertainty about how the new pieces could perform.
For as much potential as they have to be good, they could also well be very bad. We’ll know more about these teams after the out-of-conference schedule. The fact only three teams picked up first place votes is also of intrigue; it indicates most voters think it will be a top-heavy league.
As for the players:
2022-23 MAC Men’s Basketball Preseason All-MAC Teams
- Enrique Freeman, F, Akron, Jr.
- Payton Sparks, C, Ball State, So.
- Sincere Carry, G, Kent State, R-Sr.
- JT Shumate, F, Toledo, Sr.
- Lamar Norman Jr., G, Western Michigan, Sr.
- Xavier Castaneda, G, Akron, Sr.
- Kevin Miller, G, Central Michigan, So.
- Emoni Bates, F, Eastern Michigan, So.
- Malique Jacobs, G, Kent State, R-Sr.
- Setric Millner Jr., F, Toledo, Sr.
I really like Payton Sparks and think he has a shot at MAC Player of the Year. Emoni Bates being selected to the second-team proves he still has a lot to show going into this season, as the Memphis transfer will have to shoulder the load for an EMU team with expectations.
How does everyone feel about the initial results? Let’s get this comments section going like it’s 2014.