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Women picked first, men 11th in preseason MAC basketball polls


Central Michigan guard Micaela Kelly drives between two Toledo defenders March 11 at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, OH.

CMU's women's basketball team was tabbed to finish first in the Mid-American Conference, while the men were picked to place 11th in the preseason coaches polls released Nov. 19. 

The women, led by reigning MAC Coach of the Year Heather Oesterle and Player of the Year Micaela Kelly, received 10 of a possible 12 first-place votes from the MAC head coaches. Ohio was picked second, while Ball State and Buffalo each picked up one of the two remaining first place votes and finished third and fourth, respectively. 

The men finished 11th, ahead of only Western Michigan. Bowling Green finished first in the poll, with eight first place votes. Ohio, Akron and Ball State each also received at least one first place vote. No Chippewas were listed on the first or second All-MAC teams. 

For the women, Micaela Kelly was picked First-Team All-MAC while sophomore Molly Davis and senior Kyra Bussell were each named second team. Kelly was also named to the Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List, one of 20 players recognized on the preseason listing for the award given to the best point guard in women's college basketball. 

The season is tentatively scheduled to begin on Nov. 25, but neither the CMU women or men have released a schedule. The women begin conference play on Dec. 13 against Miami (Ohio) while the men start MAC play on Dec. 22 against WMU.