BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – For the third year in a row the Ohio Valley Conference has conducted a Preseason Men's Media Poll prior to the start of the season. In total 14 voters from around the league cast a ballot on whom they thought would be the 2016-17 basketball favorites and preseason player of the year.
The OVC will release its preseason poll and All-OVC team, as voted on by league head coaches and sports information directors, on Wednesday, Oct. 26 during the league's annual Media Day in Nashville.
Belmont senior forward Evan Bradds was tabbed the OVC Men's Basketball Preseason Player of the Year. Belmont picked up nine of the 14 first-place votes in the overall regular season champions category while Murray State (3) and Morehead State (2) received the others. The Bruins also accumulated 12 of a possible 14 first-place votes in being tabbed the favorite in the East Division, a title they have claimed each of the past four years.
Belmont earned 82 total points to finish ahead of Tennessee State who had 64 points and Morehead State who picked up the other two first place votes and netted 62 points. The East Division was rounded out by Eastern Kentucky (35), Tennessee Tech (32) and Jacksonville State (19).
Murray State received all 16 first-place votes (84 total points) to be named the West Division preseason favorites. Defending tournament champion Austin Peay was tabbed second (60 points) and followed by Eastern Illinois (56), UT Martin (45), Southeast Missouri (28) and SIUE (21).
Pollsters for the 2016-17 OVC Media Poll included: Catlin Bogard, OVC Ball; Mike Bradd, Eastern Illinois Radio; Neal Bradley, Murray State Radio; David Loos, Austin Peay Radio; Edward Marlowe, Paducah Sun; Mike Organ, The Tennessean; Brian Rives, Austin Peay Radio; Justin Rust, Journal Gazette/Times-Courier; Harry Schroeder, ValleyHoopsInsider.com; Greg Stotelmyer, Eastern Kentucky Radio; Rich Tiner, Belmont Radio.