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UWS men picked sixth in UMAC

Montroy Scott goes to the hoop for the Yellowjackets in the second half of UWS' game with Finlandia on Friday night in Superior during the Merrill Thompson Classic. (Jed Carlson / / 5
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The University of Wisconsin-Superior men’s basketball team has been picked to finish in sixth place in the 2018-19 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference, according to the preseason coaches' poll.

The young Yellowjackets team finished with 29 votes, while Bethany Lutheran was picked first with 62 votes, including seven first-place votes.

Bethany Lutheran won the UMAC regular-season and postseason-tournament titles last year to make its first NCAA tournament appearance in program history, when it pulled off an upset in the opening round over St. John’s.

"It's obviously not where we want to be and it's up to us to make sure that we don't end up there," UWS second-year coach Greg Polkowski said. "There are a lot of good teams in our conference so we know that we are going to be up against it every time we take the court. We're looking forward to taking on those challenges."

One of the Vikings’ three conference losses last season was to the Yellowjackets, who open their season this weekend by hosting the ninth annual Merrill Thompson Tip-Off Classic.

The classic tips off at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, with UW-Stout playing Lawrence. The Yellowjackets and Finlandia follow at 7 p.m.

Saturday’s game are UW-Stout vs. Finlandia at 3 p.m. and Superior vs. Lawrence at 5 p.m.

UWS, which went 7-18 overall and 5-11 in the UMAC last season, has a roster of 10 freshmen.

Polkowsky will be looking for leadership from seniors Colton Williams (Columbia Heights, Minn.) and Montroy Scott (Fridley, Minn.) and junior Mac Reykdal (Washburn).

After transferring from UW-Stout, Williams averaged 12 points and 5.6 rebounds a game last year; Scott averaged nine points and 2.8 rebounds to go along with 39 assists; and Reykdal averaged 4.4 points with a .439 3-point field goal percentage.

"We know that, from day one, we will be one of, if not the youngest team, in the conference,” Polkowski said. “There are always growing pains when you have a roster as young as we do, but at the same time, the younger players really bring a lot of energy to everything we're doing and that has been great for us through the first couple weeks of practice."

One player missing from the roster is senior Vid Milinkovic, who suffered an off-season injury and will be out for the season. He is expected to return to the Yellowjackets next season.

The freshmen class includes John Pioro and Brody Eldien (6-foot-6) of Proctor and Joan Giner (Tenerife, Spain) and Da’Koi Hines (Minneapolis North), who are both 6-8.

Bethany Lutheran will again be challenged by St. Scholastica, which finished 12-4 in second, and Northwestern, which was third at 11-5.

’JACKET JOTTINGS: Merrill Thompson was a longtime educator and community leader in Superior and Douglas County. He was also a basketball enthusiast. A graduate of UWS, Thompson enjoyed a lifelong passion for basketball, and Yellowjacket basketball in particular.

2018-19 UMAC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll

  1. Bethany Lutheran (7) 62
  2. St. Scholastica (1) 56
  3. Northwestern (1) 50
  4. Minnesota Morris 42
  5. Crown 37
  6. UW-Superior 29
  7. Northland 20
  8. Martin Luther 16
  9. North Central 12

UW-Superior Yellowjackets

2018-19 Men’s Basketball Schedule

Merrill Thompson Classic

Fri., Nov. 9 Lawrence vs. UW-Stout

Fri., Nov. 9 Finlandia at UWS, 7 p.m.

Sat., Nov. 10 UW-Stout vs. Finlandia, 3 p.m.

Sat., Nov. 10 Lawrence at UWS, 5 p.m.

Tue., Nov. 13 at Hamline, 7 p.m.

Thur., Nov. 15 vs. UMD (exh), 7 p.m.

Sat., Nov. 17 at Marian, 7 p.m.

Wed., Nov. 21 vs. UW-River Falls, 5 p.m.

Wed., Nov. 28 vs. UW-Eau Claire, 7 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 1 at UW-Stevens Point, 5 p.m.

Wed., Dec. 5 at St. Scholastica, 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 8 at Minn. Morris, 5 p.m.

Wed., Dec. 12 vs. Northland, 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 15 at Martin Luther, 5 p.m.

Sat., Dec. 29 at St. John's, TBD

Wed.. Jan. 2 vs. Crown, 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 5 at Bethany Luth., 5 p.m.

Wed., Jan. 9 vs. Northwestern, 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 12 vs. North Central, 5 p.m.

Mon., Jan. 14 vs. Finlandia, 7 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 19 vs.Minn. Morris, 5 p.m.

Wed., Jan. 23 at Northland, 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Jan. 26 vs. Martin Luther, 5 p.m.

Wed., Jan. 30 vs. St. Scholastica, 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 2 at Crown, 5 p.m.

Wed., Feb. 6 at Northwestern, 7:30 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 9 vs. Bethany Lutheran, 5 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 16 at North Central, 5 p.m.

UW-Superior Yellowjackets

2018-19 Men’s Basketball Roster

Head Coach: Greg Polkosky

0  Thomas Robarge,  Fr. G Chippewa Falls

1  Joseph Kramer, Jr. F Elk River, Minn.

2  Colton Williams Sr. F Columbia Heights, Minn.

4  Ronny  Galvan So. G Beloit, Wis.

5  Montroy Scott Sr. G Fridley, Minn.

10 Carter Brown Fr. G Eau Claire (Regis)

13 Joan Giner Fr. C Tenerife,Spain

14 Lucas LaMue Fr. G Lucas Lamue

20 Sam Dettle So. F Spooner

22 Da’Koi Hines Fr. F Minneapolis

23 Adam Arroyo Fr. F St. Paul

24 Nick Ackerman Fr. G Pine River, Wis.

30 Mac Reykdal Jr. G Washburn

33 John Pioro Fr. G Proctor, Minn.

34 Jaylen Vatthauer So. G Duluth (East)

44 Andrew McGill Jr. F St. Germain, Wis.

50 Sam Morrow Fr. F Milwaukee

55 Brody Eldien Fr. F Proctor, Minn.

Assistant Coaches: Taylor Boe, Dwight Hill, Jordan Schneidermann.