BEREA, OHIO -- The Baldwin Wallace University women’s basketball team was picked to finish third and the men tabbed sixth in the 2014-2015 Ohio Athletic Conference Coaches Preseason Poll.
The Yellow Jacket women, who finished 22-7 overall and advanced to the “Sweet 16” of the 2014 NCAA Division III National Tournament last winter, also are ranked 16th in the D3hoops.com poll and tied for 22nd in the USA TODAY/WBCA Division III national poll.
Veteran Head Coach Cheri Harrer, who is 488-179 in 24 seasons in Berea, returns 12 letter winners and three starters from last year’s team, including 11 student-athletes who were part of Harrer’s 15-to-16 player rotation that averaged 76.3 points-per-game and allowed 63.0 ppg. Leading this year’s group will be senior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC student-athletes and guard/ forwards Audrey Smolik (Strongsville) and Shari Mangas (Leipsic).
The Yellow Jackets open the season on Tuesday, November 18 at Cleveland cross-town rival Case Western Reserve University in the first game of a women’s and men’s doubleheader at 6 p.m. The first home game is on Friday, November 21 versus Bethany (W.Va.) College in the nightcap of the first round of the BW Invitational. The first OAC contest is on Wednesday, December 3 at the University of Mount Union at 7:30 p.m.
Veteran men’s coach Duane Sheldon’s team was 14-13 a year ago and returns a pair of key starters in senior point guard Jaron Crowe (Mentor) and senior power forward Matt Dennis (Jupiter, Fla./ Nature Coast Technical). Overall, he returns 10 lettermen and five players who saw considerable action a year ago on a team that averaged 76.5 ppg. and allowed 73.8 ppg. In addition, senior shooting guard Justin Roth (Parma) is back after missing last season with an injury.
The BW men open their season on Saturday, November 15 when it travels to St Davids, Pennsylvania to play Eastern University. The first home game is on Saturday, November 22 versus Washington & Jefferson (Pa.) College at 7 p.m. The first OAC game is at home versus the University of Mount Union on December 3 at 7:30 p.m.