Rogers State men's basketball was selected fourth to begin the season as the MIAA announced its preseason coaches poll for the 2020-2021 men's basketball season during the 2020 MIAA Basketball Virtual Media Day Presented By Seigfreid Bingham.
The Hillcats finished their inaugural MIAA season in 2019-20 as the regular season runner-up. Rogers State, who was ranked No. 18 in the final poll of the year, also made an appearance in the MIAA Tournament semifinal and received an at-large bid to the 2020 NCAA Tournament before the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rogers State brings back seven letter-winners from last season, including three Hillcats who have starting experience. The Hillcats also welcome in seven newcomers, including three freshman and four transfers to join coach Justin Barkley's roster.
Barkley is set to begin his 11th season as the coach of the men's basketball program.
Northwest Missouri, the defending MIAA regular-season and tournament champion, was picked first in the preseason coaches poll with 169 points and 13 first-place votes. The Bearcats have won seven-consecutive MIAA regular-season titles, the longest streak in Association History.
Missouri Southern was tabbed second by the coaches with 147 points and the remaining first-place vote. In third place was Washburn with 140 points followed by Rogers State with 123 points.
RSU held the spot by a single point over Missouri Western, as the Griffons rounded out the top five with 122 points.
Central Oklahoma was slotted sixth while Fort Hays State and Pittsburg State tied for the seventh position. Lincoln was voted ninth and Nebraska Kearney concluded the top ten.
Central Missouri was slated 11th with Emporia State tabbed in 12th while Northeastern State trailed in 13th. The 2020-2021 preseason coaches poll was rounded out by Newman.
The MIAA tips off the regular-season on Thursday, Nov. 19. Not only is the association the first to get its season underway in NCAA Division II, but it is also one of the first to start in any of the three NCAA Divisions.
The Hillcats will open up the season at the Claremore Expo Center, hosting Missouri Western on Thursday, before hosting Northwest Missouri State on Saturday. Rogers State is slated to play a 22-game MIAA-only schedule.
2020-2021 MIAA Men's Basketball Coaches Preseason Poll
1. Northwest Missouri (13) - 169 points
2. Missouri Southern (1) - 147 points
3. Washburn - 140 points
4. Rogers State - 123 points
5. Missouri Western - 122 points
6. Central Oklahoma - 106 points
T7. Fort Hays State - 75 points
T7. Pittsburg State - 75 points
9. Lincoln - 67 points
10. Nebraska Kearney - 64 points
11. Central Missouri - 60 points
12. Emporia State - 56 points
13. Northeastern State - 55 points
14. Newman - 17 points
*Coaches Cannot Vote For Their Own Team