ENMU hoops picked to finish last

Freedom New Mexico

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. — Eastern New Mexico University’s basketball teams were picked for last place in the Lone Star Conference South Division’s preseason basketball polls, released this week.

Both squads are coming off last-place finishes in 2007-08, the men going 6-21 overall and 0-12 in the South while the women were 5-22 and 2-12.

ENMU men’s coach Shawn Scanlan said he’s not surprised by the pick, given that the Greyhounds have struggled in recent years.

Still, he said he feels good about his mostly-new squad, which opens practice in less than two weeks.

“We’ve just finished ‘boot camp,’” he said of preseason conditioning. “That usually gives me an indication of what to expect.

“The challenge is not going to be to get this bunch to work hard. The challenge is to get them to work together, and I can handle that.”

Tarleton State received 12 of 18 first-place votes from media, sports information directors and coaches. West Texas A&M garnered three first-place votes and was tabbed for second.

In the North Division, Central Oklahoma is favored with three starters and five other lettermen from a team that won a school record 28 games and rolled to the North title at 11-1. The Bronchos received all but three of the 16 first-place votes, with Southwestern Oklahoma and Texas A&M-Commerce finishing in a tie for second.

Three-time champion West Texas A&M earned 14 first-place votes in the South women’s poll, but finished just 10 points ahead of Abilene Christian (116-106), which had three of the other four first-place tallies. Angelo State garnered one first-place vote and finished third.

Central Oklahoma also earned the North women’s tag as the preseason favorite. The Bronchos posted their first 20-win season in 23 years and had the second-most wins in school history (24-8).