Tommie Men's Basketball was picked third in the 2017-18 preseason poll of the 11 MIAC head coaches released Nov. 9
St. Thomas, which received two first-place votes, is just behind St. Johns and Bethel in the preseason poll. Augsburg, Carleton and Hamline round out the top six.
Coach John Tauer starts his seventh season with the Tommies with two games Nov. 17-18 in the Marietta (Ohio) tournament. His six-year head coaching record of 147-30 (.830) puts him on an elite list of only six active NCAA basketball coaches (out of 1,000 plus) to win more than 80% of their games.
The Tommies, 19-8 last season, have won or shared a record 12 consecutive MIAC team championships and have made 12 NCAA playoff appearances in a row. They graduated All-America point guard Grant Shaeffer and leading rebounder Jordan Burich, but return six junior and senior players expected to contribute.
The Tommies are expected to return nearly 65 percent of their scoring and 55 percent of their rebounding.
Senior forward Ryan Boll is back for his third year as a starter. The Toms are 49-9 in games he's started and 0-2 when he's been absent (both last season). He averaged 14 points and 6.1 rebounds last season. Senior guard John Veil scored in double figures eight times last season with a high of 27 points at Bethel. Junior guard Michael Hannon made 68 treys and scored in double figures 18 times (four 20-plus point outings).