MUNCIE, Ind. — The Ball State men’s basketball team was picked to finish second in the Mid-American Conference West Division in the league’s preseason poll announced Tuesday. Senior point guard and Kokomo graduate Tayler Persons was tabbed to the Preseason All-MAC West Division Team.
The Cardinals were picked second behind Eastern Michigan by just eight total points in the vote of head coaches and media members. BSU received 11 first-place votes.
Defending league champion Buffalo was selected as the preseason favorite to win both the East Division and the conference tournament. The Bulls received all 35 first-place votes in the East.
Persons, a two-time All-MAC Second Team selection, was joined on the Preseason All-MAC West Division Team by James Thompson and Elijah Minnie from Eastern Michigan, Eugene German from Northern Illinois and Jaelan Sanford from Toledo. German, a junior, was the lone non-senior selected on either side of the league.
Persons is the only player in Ball State history to record 1,000 points and 300 assists in a two-year period. The Kokomo, Indiana, native owns 1,399 points and 416 assists for his entire career, including his freshman season at Northern Kentucky. He is the leading active assist man and second-leading active scorer in the MAC, behind only EMU’s Thompson.
Persons is part of an experienced Ball State roster that returns better than 75 percent of its scoring, rebounds and assists from last year’s squad that finished 19-13 (10-8 MAC). Among that group is another All-MAC player from last season in senior center Trey Moses.
The Cardinals will take the floor Friday at 7 p.m. for an exhibition with UIndy at Worthen Arena. The regular season opener comes Tuesday, Nov. 6 at home against Indiana State.
2018-19 MAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll
East Division – Points (first place votes)
- Buffalo – 210 (35)
- Miami – 127
- Kent State – 122
- Ohio – 121
- Akron – 97
- Bowling Green – 58
West Division – Points (first place votes)
- Eastern Michigan – 183 (17)
- Ball State – 175 (11)
- Toledo – 156 (5)
- Western Michigan – 81 (1)
- Northern Illinois – 73
- Central Michigan — 67 (1)
Tournament Champion: Buffalo 25, Eastern Michigan 3, Toledo 3, Central Michigan 1, Miami 1, Northern Illinois 1, Western Michigan 1
MAC Men’s Basketball East Division Preseason All-MAC
Demajeo Wiggins, Sr., Forward, Bowling Green
C.J. Massinburg, Sr., Guard, Buffalo
Jeremy Harris, Sr., Guard, Buffalo
Nick Perkins, Sr., Forward, Buffalo
Jaylin Walker, Sr., Guard, Kent State
MAC Men’s Basketball West Division Preseason All-MAC
Tayler Persons, Sr., Guard, Ball State
James Thompson IV, Sr., Forward/Center, Eastern Michigan
Elijah Minnie, Sr., Forward, Eastern Michigan
Eugene German, Jr., Guard, Northern Illinois
Jaelan Sanford, Sr., Guard, Toledo
Courtesy of Ball State University athletics