After graduating three starters from a 24-5 team, Tommie Men's Basketball comes in at No. 15 in the 2019-20 Division III preseason poll announced Tuesday by D3hoops.com.
Tauer graduated Connor Bair, Michael Hannon and GT Johnson from a squad that won the conference title and reached the NCAA playoff Sweet 16 round.
Sophomore point guard Anders Nelson was named the National Freshman of the Year by D3Hoops.com. He averaged 14.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.6 steals, with a season-best 37 points in a three-overtime road win at Augsburg. He had five other contests with 20 or more points, and the Toms went 10-0 in games when he finished with 16 or more points.
One transfer expected to help front-line depth is 6-7 junior forward Jake Paper of Fargo, who played in 41 games off the bench the last two seasons at Division II Minnesota-Duluth.
There are five freshman who joined the varsity roster:
- 6-7 F Brooks Allen of Shakopee
- 6-5 G Will Engels of Benet (Ill.) Academy
- 6-2 G Jared Rainey of Maple Grove
- 6-6 F Tate Staloch of Lakeville North
- 6-2 G Mason Tapp of Hayfield
Starting his ninth season, Tauer (185-47) has the best winning percentage among active Division III coaches at .797.
St. Thomas will play another strong non-conference schedule, with its first five games away from home. They open the season in Washington state Nov. 14 and 16 against Whitman and Whitworth. The Purple's home opener and MIAC opener is Nov. 26 against Carleton.
Tommies in 2019 D-III Fall-Winter Sport Rankings/Oct. 29
- Women's Hockey: No. 5
- Men's Golf: No. 8
- Football: No. 19/23
- Women's Cross Country: No. 14
- Men's Basketball No. 15
- Volleyball: No. 22
- Women's Soccer: No. 19
- Men's Cross Country: No. 29
- Men's Hockey: receiving votes
- Men's Soccer: Regionally ranked fourth