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Buffalo Men's Basketball picked fourth in East in MAC Preseason Poll, Bearden named preseason All-MAC

Following the program's first-ever MAC Championship, Buffalo Men's Basketball was poised for a multiple-year run atop the conference, with a balanced scholarship distribution and a mix of returning top-of-the-MAC potential and instant-impact newcomers.

Instead, the 2015-16 team will feature new faces nearly across the board on the court and the sideline. In today's MAC Preseason Poll, the Bulls were selected to finish fourth in the East, behind the more stable Kent State and Akron and potential-filled Ohio. CMU, with point guard Chris Fowler and coach Keno Davis, was a unanimous choice to win the West division.

Buffalo did receive a single vote to win their conference and repeat as conference champions. The full poll:

2015-16 MAC East Division Predicted Order of Finish (first place votes)
1. Akron - 132 points (17)
2. Kent State - 116 (5)
3. Ohio — 69
4. Buffalo - 64 (1)
5. Miami — 60
6. Bowling Green — 42

2015-16 MAC West Division Predicted Order of Finish (first place votes)
1. Central Michigan — 138 points (23)
2. Toledo — 110
3. Western Michigan — 94
4. Eastern Michigan — 71
5. Northern Illinois — 37
6. Ball State — 33

Tournament Champion: Central Michigan (15), Akron (6), Buffalo (1), Kent State (1)

The only surprise of any note here is that Miami is so close to Ohio and Buffalo. It was conceivable UB might edge out the Bobcats, but understandable that they didn't. The RedHawks finished last season strong, and guard Eric Washington should once again make them a challenging out for opponents.

The conference also released Preseason All-MAC Teams for each Division:

MAC East Division Preseason All-MAC Team
Pat Forsythe, Sr., C, Akron
Lamonte Bearden, So., G, Buffalo
Jimmy Hall, R-Jr., F, Kent State
Eric Washington, Sr., G, Miami
Antonio Campbell, Jr., F, Ohio

MAC West Division Preseason All-MAC Team
Chris Fowler, Sr., G, Central Michigan
John Simons, Sr., F, Central Michigan
Raven Lee, R-Jr., G, Eastern Michigan
Nathan Boothe, Sr., C, Toledo
Connar Tava, Sr., F, Western Michigan

Buffalo fans will be glad to see Lamonte Bearden make the cut as the only sophomore among the group. Bearden finished a distant second in MAC Freshman of the Year voting last season to Ball State's Sean Sellers and is poised to increase his numbers this year as Buffalo's undisputed option at point guard.