AZUSA, Calif. -- Entering its second season as a member of NCAA Division II's Pacific West Conference, the Azusa Pacific men’s basketball team was picked to finish fifth in the annual preseason coaches poll. The Cougars, who finished seventh last season with a conference record of 9-8, received 123 points in the poll.
Junior guard Troy Leaf was named to the preseason All-PacWest Team following a sophomore campaign in which he earned first-team all-conference honors after averaging a team-high 18.7 points per game.
Reigning PacWest champion Dixie State was named the preseason favorite with 165 points and nine of the 13 first-place votes. Fresno Pacific and BYU-Hawaii fall into the second and third places, respectively, with one first place vote each. The Cougars were seven points behind fourth-place Chaminade, which earned 130 points.
Azusa Pacific will host Cal State Dominguez Hills in the season opener on Friday, Nov. 15, as part of the Cougar Classic, followed by the second game of the season Saturday against Cal Poly Pomona. The Cougars enter the classic with two exhibition wins under their belt after defeating Westminster 81-68 and Montana Western 84-73 in Salt Lake City last weekend.