The NYU women and University of Chicago men are favored to capture UAA basketball titles in 2015-16, according to the UAA basketball coaches’ poll. The Violet women enter the season ranked fifth in the D3hoops.com women’s preseason poll, while the Maroons are ranked 17th in the D3hoops.com men’s preseason poll.
NYU, which received four first-place votes in the poll, returns four starters from a team that finished 22-5 last year and reached the second round of the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship. Senior center Megan Dawe, a first-team All-Association and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-America honorable mention selection in 2014-15, led the Violets in scoring (12.7 points per game) and added 5.6 rebounds per game. Junior guard Kaitlyn Read also earned first-team All-Association accolades last season, finishing second on the team in scoring (11.7 ppg) and first in steals (3.3 spg). Washington University also received four first-place votes and is the coaches’ pick to place second this season after sharing last year’s UAA title with University of Chicago.
The Bears, ranked ninth in the D3hoops.com preseason poll, return three players with starting experience from last seasons’ 25-3 team that advanced to the NCAA Sectional Semifinal for the 16th time in program history. University of Rochester and the defending co-champion Maroons round out the top four spots at third and fourth, respectively. The Yellowjackets return nine of their top 11 players, including UAA Rookie of the Year and first-team choice Al Leslie, who led the team in scoring and rebounding, and was named D3hoops.com National Rookie of the Year.
The Chicago men return all five starters from last years’ 16-win team. Senior guard Jordan Smith (15.1 ppg) earned first-team All-Association honors a year ago and senior forward Alex Voss (11.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg) garnered second-team honors. NYU is the coaches’ choice to finish second this season and will be led by first-team All-Association senior forward Evan Kupferberg, one of four returning starters. He averaged career-bests of 17.8 points and 11.1 rebounds per game and is a Sporting News preseason first-team All-America selection. Sophomore Ross Udine led the team in assists and shared UAA Rookie of the Year honors.
The coaches’ choices to place third and fourth are defending champion Emory University and 2013-14 champion Washington University, respectively. Senior forward Will Trawick (11.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg) earned second-team All-Association honors last year for the Eagles, who made their third consecutive trip to the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship and began the season ranked 18th in the D3hoops.com preseason poll. Senior guard Luke Silverman-Lloyd (10.1 ppg) is the lone returning starter for the Bears, who made their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament last year, their seventh appearance in the championship in the past eight seasons.