Belton, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor men’s basketball team has been picked to finish third in the West Division in the American Southwest Conference’s annual Preseason Coaches and Media Poll. The poll is based on voting from West Division coaches, sports information directors and select media members.

The Cru men totaled 54 total points as the pick to finish third in the West. Concordia Texas was picked to win the West Division with six first-place votes and 68 total points. Sul Ross State picked up three first place votes and 55 total points to come in second, just one point ahead of UMHB. Defending ASC champion Hardin-Simmons was picked fourth after taking the other two first-place votes and 42 total points. Howard Payne University and McMurry University tied for fifth place in the poll with 27 points apiece.

UMHB placed three players on the ASC Men’s Basketball Preseason Watch List. Braden Hammond is a senior guard from Belton High School. He averaged 13.5 points and led the Cru with 83 assists last season. Aubrie King is a senior wing from Mumford High School. King also averaged 13.5 points per game and shot 35 percent from three-point range. Justin Gammill is a senior wing from Flower Mound High School. Gammill is a two-year starter who returns after missing all of last season with an injury.

The Cru expects to return ten letter winners and three starters this season. The Cru men finished 16-10 overall and went 9-7 in ASC play last season while advancing to the Quarterfinals of the ASC Championship Tournament. UMHB will open the 2017-18 season with a non-conference road game at Schreiner University on November 15th. The Cru will play its home opener with a November 18th non-conference game against Texas Lutheran University.