The Lone Star Conference has released the preseason basketball polls for the 2013-14 season. A&M-Commerce's women's team has been picked to finish fifth overall, receiving one first place vote in the process, while the Lion men are slated to finish eighth.
Head coach Nicole Anderson's team caught the attention of many in 2012-13, winning 11 games and notching a nine-game improvement from each of the previous two seasons. The season was capped by shocking LSC co-champion Abilene Christian in the LSC quarterfinals in A&M-Commerce's first visit to the postseason in five years. That respect has pushed the women to fifth in the standings, one point back of fourth-place Angelo State, as seniors Breanna Harris and Danielle Dixon look to close out their Lion careers on a positive note.
On the men's side, head coach Sam Walker's squad was picked to finish eighth in the league, the same spot it has occupied for the past two seasons. The Lions finished 14-15 in 2012-13 and will head into this season with a lot of question marks after losing six players to graduation following the conclusion of last season. A&M-Commerce does return a pair of senior veterans in Devondrick Walker and Tyrie Wooten who will take on a leadership role among a myriad of newcomers.
The preseason poll reflects the votes of the LSC's head coaches, sports information director and media representatives for each school. Midwestern State was picked to finish first on the women's side while Tarleton State was tabbed the favorite for the men, despite the fact the Mustangs achieved more first place votes. Tarleton State's Kiara Wright and Cameron's Craig Foster were named the LSC Preseason Players of the Year.
The 2013-14 season gets underway in a little over a week as both the Lion men and women tip off their seasons on Nov. 8. Anderson's squad begins the season at the St. Edward's Tournament in Austin, facing Central Oklahoma at 3 p.m. that Friday while Walker's men's team is at the Cameron Tournament in Lawton, Okla., opening the season with UT-Permian Basin at 8 p.m. that evening.
Tickets for the 2013-14 A&M-Commerce basketball seasons are now on sale by visiting WeAreLionsTix.com or by calling the A&M-Commerce Athletic Department at (903) 886-5558. The men's first home game of the season is on Wednesday, Nov. 13 against Southern Arkansas at 7 p.m. while the women take to the court at the Field House for the first time the following night, battling Texas A&M International on Nov. 14 at 5:30 p.m.
2013 Lone Star Conference Preseason Polls
1. Midwestern State (20) - 218 pts.
2. West Texas A&M (1) - 190 pts.
3. Tarleton State (3) - 188 pts.
4. Angelo State - 127 pts.
6. Texas Woman's - 84 pts.
7. Cameron - 75 pts.
8. Eastern New Mexico - 69 pts.
9. Texas A&M-Kingsville - 48 pts.
Preseason Player of the Year: Kiara Wright - Tarleton State
1. Tarleton State (9) - 166 pts.
2. Midwestern State (12) - 163 pts.
3. Cameron (2) - 124 pts.
4. West Texas A&M - 118 pts.
5. Texas A&M-Kingsville - 82 pts.
6. Eastern New Mexico - 63 pts.
7. Angelo State - 59 pts.
Preseason Player of the Year: Craig Foster - Cameron