After finishing fourth in the 2013-14 Great American Conference standings, the East Central University men's basketball team has been picked to finish in the same spot by the league's head coaches in the 2014-15 GAC Preseason Poll.
The Tigers finished with a 15-12 overall record and a 12-8 mark in league action a year ago, improving from 8-18 overall and 5-15 in the GAC the previous season. The improvement helped spark ECU to the quarterfinals of the GAC Championship, which they made for the first time in league history.
The Tigers claimed 70 points in the 2014-15 poll, while Arkansas Tech was picked to repeat as champions with 96 points and eight first-place votes.
Harding was second with 86 points (2 first-place votes), while Southwestern Oklahoma State claimed the final first-place votes and 79 points for third.
Henderson State followed ECU in fifth with 65 points, Southern Nazarene was sxith (48 points), Ouachita Baptist seventh (42 points), Southeastern Oklahoma State eighth (34 points), Southern Arkansas ninth (32 points), Northwestern Oklahoma State 10th (29 points) and Arkansas-Monticello 11th (24 points).
The Tigers open the 2014-15 season at the GAC/NSIC Challenge in Bartlesville, Okla., Nov. 14-15. ECU will face Southwest Minnesota Friday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Wayne State College, Saturday, Nov. 15 at 3 p.m. ECU will also play an exhibition game against Oral Roberts, Monday, Nov. 3 in Tulsa at 7 p.m.