Western Michigan received 22 first place votes when it came to picking who would win the West crown, while the Bulls received 24 first place votes to take home the East title.
The Broncos also . . .
Western Michigan head coach Steve Hawkins welcomes back 11 letterwinners from last years team. West Division Preseason All-MAC selection Thomas Wilder averaged 19.3 points and 3.8 assists per game last season in leading the Broncos to a 16-16 record and 11-7 record in the MAC.
Wilder declared for the NBA Draft this past spring but then decided to withdraw his named to return to WMU for his senior season. The Broncos return four others with starting experience in Brandon Johnson, Reggie Jones, Bryce Moore and Seth Dugan.
The Broncos are followed in the West Division preseason predictions by Ball State, while Toledo was selected to finish third and Eastern Michigan fourth. Northern Illinois was tabbed to finish fifth and Central Michigan sixth to round out this year's selections.
The Bulls return six players that saw action, including two who were named to the East Division Preseason All-MAC squad. Junior CJ Massinburg was named All-MAC Honorable Mention as he averaged 14.5 points and 5.6 rebounds a year ago. He is Buffalo’s returning leading scorer and despite missing eight games during non-conference play last year he is in striking distance of 1,000 career points in just his third season with the team.
Fellow junior Nick Perkins was named the MAC’s Sixth Man of the Year last year, just the second player in school history to earn that honor. Perkins averaged 12.4 points and a team-high 6.7 rebounds last year as he came off the bench in 14 of 32 games, including 14 of the last 15 games of the year.
Kent State followed Buffalo in the preseason rankings in second, while Ohio was selected to finish third. Akron was picked to place fourth, while Bowling Green and Miami rounded out the East Division selections.
The West Division Preseason All-MAC representatives are Ball State's Tayler Persons, Eastern Michigan's James Thompson IV, NIU's Eugene German, Toledo's Jaelan Sanford & Western Michigan's Wilder.
The East Division Preseason All-MAC squad is comprised of Buffalo's Massinburg & Perkins, Kent States Jaylin Walker and Ohio teammates Jordan Dartis & Jason Carter.
The MAC regular season gets underway on Friday, November 10 as six MAC programs take the hardwood. Conference action begins on Tuesday, January 2 as teams will start to fight for position in the MAC Men's Basketball Tournament that will take place on March 7-10 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
1. Buffalo – 166 points (24)
2. Kent State – 139 points (2)
3. Ohio – 127 points (3)
4. Akron – 84 points (1)
5. Bowling Green – 82 points
6. Miami – 32 points
MAC West Division MBB Preseason Poll (first place votes)
1. Western Michigan – 169 points (22)
2. Ball State – 156 points (8)
3. Toledo – 107 points
4. Eastern Michigan – 103 points
5. Northern Illinois – 57 points
6. Central Michigan – 38 points
MAC Tournament Champion: Western Michigan (10), Buffalo (9), Ball State (5), Kent State (2), Toledo (2), Bowling Green (1), Miami (1)
MAC East Division Preseason All-MAC Team
C.J. Massinburg, Buffalo, Jr., Guard
Nick Perkins, Buffalo, Jr., Forward
Jaylin Walker, Kent State, Jr., Guard
Jordan Dartis, Ohio, Jr., Guard
Jason Carter, Ohio, So., Forward
MAC West Division Preseason All-MAC Team
James Thompson IV, Eastern Michigan, Jr., Forward/Center
Thomas Wilder, Western Michigan, Sr., Guard
Tayler Persons, Ball State, Jr., Guard
Jaelan Sanford, Toledo, Jr., Guard
Eugene German, Northern Illinois, So., Guard