Albion enters season as MIAA men's basketball preseason favorite

Albion enters season as MIAA men's basketball preseason favorite

The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association men's basketball coaches added another layer of hype to one of the most anticipated Albion College seasons in years Thursday when they anointed the Britons as the preseason favorite to win the league championship.

Albion, coming off a 19-9 season that included a second place finish in the MIAA during the regular season and the league tournament championship, received all seven first place votes available since coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team.

Jody May, in his 12th season as head coach at Albion, will build the 2019-2020 team around all-MIAA first team award winners Jamezell Davis, Jr. and Caden Ebeling.

A junior from Ypsilanti, Mich., Davis averaged 12 ½ points and nearly four assists in 11 games against MIAA rivals during the regular season.

Ebeling, a junior from Shelby Township, Mich., chipped in with 14.6 points while shooting 58 percent from the floor in 14 MIAA games.

Guards MJ Barnes and Zachary Winston and forward Quinton Armstrong all played significant minutes in MIAA games last season.

"Our best players are back, but the challenge is the rest of the guys don't have much experience," May said. "They are either sophomores or juniors who didn't play much last season or first-year players. We need to develop a bench. There are some moving parts and trying to figure out who those guys are and who is going to start.

"I think the MIAA is going to be really good," May added. "Trine University and Albion finished one and two in the league and we lost some important pieces to our teams from last year. The teams that finished sixth, seventh and eighth return almost their whole team from last year. I think it's going to be really competitive and no one is going to run away with the league."

The Nov. 8 season tipoff is a highly anticipated regional matchup as Albion travels to Alliance, Ohio, to take the court against the University of Mount Union squad picked to finish first in the Ohio Athletic Conference.

Albion will make its home debut Nov. 22 when Earlham College visits Kresge Gymnasium for a 7 p.m. start. The Britons other early season home non-league game is a Dec. 1 date against the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

The Britons start the new year with home games against Case Western Reserve University (Jan. 4) and MIAA rival Calvin University (Jan. 8).

The complete MIAA men's basketball preseason poll is listed below.

  1. ALBION (7 first place votes) 49 points
  2. Trine (1 first place vote) 43 points
  3. Calvin 34 points
  4. Hope 31 points
  5. Kalamazoo 23 points
  6. Alma 21 points
  7. Olivet 15 points
  8. Adrian 8 points

For the latest information on the team, follow @AlbionMBB on Twitter and albion.mbb on Instagram. General athletic news can also be found @gobrits on Twitter, AlbionAthletics on Instagram and Albion College Athletics on Facebook.

Joe and Julie Serra have given a $5 million leadership gift to launch a fundraising initiative to make two dreams a reality at Albion College. The first is a newly expanded fitness and student activity facility at the site of the current Dow Recreation and Wellness Center. The second is a new or renovated competition facility for the volleyball, men's basketball and women's basketball teams that currently call Kresge Gymnasium home.

The College is continuing to raise funds in support of both projects. To learn more, call 517/629-0446 or email