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Kansas City, Mo. — The Missouri Southern men’s basketball program has been picked to finish fifth in the MIAA Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll, the league announced today. lane_barlow

The Lions are the defending MIAA Tournament Champions and return three starters off of last year’s NCAA Tournament team that finished 25-6 and advanced to the NCAA Round of 32, falling to eventual national champion, Central Missouri.

Southern will be under a new head coach for the first time in 25 years this season as first-year head coach Jeff Boschee will taking the reigns from Hall of Fame coach Robert Corn. Boschee returns assistant coach Nick Bradford who was on the staff last season and brings in former Missouri State coach Sam McMahon, as well as former Baker University guard Todd Johnston to round out the coaching staff.

Cameron Cornelius, Lane Barlow and Greg Renfroe return to the starting lineup for the Lions, as Southern returns nine players overall from 2013-14. The Lions will also have the help of three players that practiced with the team last season, but redshirted.

Defending national and league champion Central Missouri was picked to repeat and received ten first-place votes. Fort Hays State was picked second with two first-place votes, while Washburn and Northwest Missouri were picked third and fourth, each receiving a first-place vote. Southern was fifth, followed by Central Oklahoma, Nebraska-Kearney, Emporia State, Lindenwood and Pittsburg State to round out the top ten. Missouri Western, Northeastern State, Southwest Baptist, and Lincoln round out the poll.

The Lions begin the season with an exhibition game at Missouri State on November 8 and will travel to Sioux Falls, SD on Nov. 15 and 16 for the Sanford Pentagon Tipoff Tournament to open the regular season.

2014-15 MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Central Missouri (10) 151
2. Fort Hays State (2) 145
3. Washburn (1) 137
4. Northwest Missouri (1) 129
5. Missouri Southern 120
6. Central Oklahoma 110
7. Nebraska-Kearney 103
8. Emporia State   82
9. Lindenwood    79
10. Pittsburg State     73
11. Missouri Western     53
12. Northeastern State     39
13. Southwest Baptist     29
14. Lincoln    15