Missouri S&T's men's basketball team was picked to finish seventh in the Great Lakes Valley Conference's West Division for the upcoming 2013-14 season in the league's coaches poll released Thursday.
The Miners, who finished in a tie for seventh in the GLVC West with Rockhurst last season after going 3-15 in conference play and 7-18 overall, return four of their starters from the end of last season as well as Bryce Foster, a three-year starter who missed a majority of the season with an injury.
With Foster's return, the Miners have their top four scorers from a year ago back in the fold, headed by senior guard Mudiaga Eruteya, a second-team All-GLVC West Division selection last winter after averaging 13.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and leading S&T with 87 assists and 40 steals.
Foster played in the first six games of the year and averaged 13.2 points a game in that span, while Nusrath Khan averaged 11.2 a game and Zachary Ellis finished with 8.6 points a game in his freshman season.
Defending NCAA Division II champion Drury was picked to win the West Division by the league coaches, with Maryville coming in second and Missouri-St. Louis narrowly edging Quincy for the third spot. GLVC newcomer Truman State was tabbed to finish fifth, while William Jewell was picked for sixth ahead of the Miners and Rockhurst.
Bellarmine was the pick to win the East Division title, followed by Southern Indiana, Indianapolis and Lewis. Wisconsin-Parkside, last season's GLVC East champion, was picked for fifth and Illinois Springfield – who moves to the East this year with the addition of Truman State and departure of Kentucky Wesleyan – was sixth; Saint Joseph's and McKendree were seventh and eighth, respectively.
Unlike the last two seasons, every team will face the other 15 teams during the conference season, which for the Miners will begin Dec. 5 with a trip to Drury. S&T will play every team in the league once, except for home-and-home matchups with Drury, William Jewell and Rockhurst in its 18-game league slate.
Missouri S&T opens its 2013-14 season Nov. 8 when its hosts Westminster at 7:30 p.m.