The Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) has released the results of its preseason media poll, and Newman men’s basketball has been picked to finish 11th and the women’s team eighth.
Joanna Pryor, director of athletics; Darin Spence, women’s head basketball coach; and R.J. Allen, men’s head basketball coach, provided details about the process.
“The MIAA conference,” Pryor said, “is one of the toughest and most prestigious conferences in NCAA DII. This is great for Newman because of the proximity of the other institutions and the natural rivalries that can be built.”
As for how the MIAA ranking works, Pryor explained that “the head coaches from each institution turn in a ballot of their preseason rankings. The conference office tallies the votes and publishes a ranking for each sport.”
Athletes, coaches and anyone involved in Newman athletics are hard at work and anticipating what is to come with the MIAA conference.
Spence said, “We are excited to be a part of the top NCAA DII athletic conference in the country. We have worked hard to build our women’s basketball program up so we could compete in the MIAA.”
Allen added, “We know we will be challenged night in and night out and we look forward to the challenge.”
The coaches and their athletes are focused on building core concepts needed for the success of their teams.
“We invest time together and for each other,” Spence said. “We set out to become great teammates and build the chemistry on and off the floor.”
Allen also believes that it is important for the teams to have a connection on and off the floor, and continued by explaining how well the season is going.
“Practices have been going well. We’ve spent the last month really working on building good habits and finding consistency. We feel if we can do those two things it will give us a chance to grow and get better.”
With both of the teams and their coaches showing great enthusiasm for the season, Newman is ready for its first year as a part of the MIAA.