Yellow Jackets Named 2022 RMAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Favorites

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Heading into the 2022-23 RMAC men’s basketball season, Black Hills State enters as the preseason favorite with 14 first-place votes and 196 points, the league announced Thursday. The RMAC preseason poll is voted on by the league’s 15 head coaches. Coaches are not permitted to vote for their program.

The Yellow Jackets enter the 2022-23 campaign following a magical run into the final four last season after winning the RMAC regular-season and tournament titles. The reigning RMAC Coach of the Year, Ryan Thompson, returns for BHSU after leading his team to a 26-8 overall record and a 17-4 mark in RMAC play last season. Joel Scott, a NABC All-American and the RMAC Player of the Year, returns after averaging a conference-leading 23.1 points to go along with 10.6 rebounds per game and 21 double-doubles. Another prolific scorer, Matthew Ragsdale, joins the Yellow Jackets roster after averaging 21.5 points per contest last season. Adam Moussa and Sindou Cisse also return to pad the Yellow Jackets’ veteran core after combining for 10.5 rebounds per game in the 2021-22 season.

Colorado Mesa snatches the second spot in the preseason poll with 178 points after finishing last season with a 26-10 overall record. The Mavericks return a trio of all-conference players in Trevor Baskin, Mac Riniker and Blaise Threatt who led the team to the program’s first appearance in the NCAA South Central Regional Championship game, a RMAC showdown against Black Hills State. Redshirt sophomores Baskin and Riniker led the Mavs’ offense with 13.6 and 10.2 points per game, respectively. Threatt was a threat on the defensive side with 208 total rebounds for an average of 6.2 per game. The Mavericks provide youth while still maintaining a veteran presence on the court, returning five redshirt sophomore starters for the impending season.

Colorado School of Mines enters this year with one first-place vote and 169 points, led by head coach Pryor Orser who steered his team to a 14-8 conference record last season. Brendan Sullivan returns for his fifth year with the Orediggers after leading his squad with 15.0 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game and 24 blocked shots in the 2021-22 season. Joining Sullivan are returners Ben Boone, Adam Krasovec and Riley Schroeder who were also key players for Mines last season, combining for an average of 22.2 points per RMAC contest.

Fort Lewis secures the fourth-place spot with 152 points, followed by University of Colorado Colorado Springs with 138 points. Regis sits sixth overall with 125 points, while Metropolitan State University of Denver claims the seventh spot with 105 points.

Colorado State University Pueblo locks up eighth place with 100 points, followed by New Mexico Highlands with 89 points. Westminster (84 points) and South Dakota Mines (80 points) secure the 10th and 11th spots, respectively. Adams State sits in 12th place with 55 points, just ahead of Colorado Christian with 39 points.

Rounding out the preseason poll is Chadron state in 14th place with 37 points and Western Colorado in 15th place with 28 points.

2022-23 RMAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll
Institution (First-Place Votes) Points

  1. Black Hills State (14) 196
  2. Colorado Mesa 178
  3. Colorado School of Mines (1) 169
  4. Fort Lewis 152
  5. UCCS 138
  6. Regis 125
  7. MSU Denver 105
  8. CSU Pueblo 100
  9. New Mexico Highlands 89
  10. Westminster 84
  11. South Dakota Mines 80
  12. Adams State 55
  13. Colorado Christian 39
  14. Chadron State 37
  15. Western Colorado 28