Men's Basketball Picked Fifth in A-R-C

Oct 17, 2019

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The American Rivers Conference announced the 2019-20 preseason men’s basketball poll on Thursday afternoon, where the Spartans were picked in the middle of the pack in fifth place with 36 points.

UD finished the 2018-19 campaign with an overall record of 14-15 and conference record of 6-10. After missing the conference tournament the previous two seasons, the Spartans returned and made some noise, defeating the fourth-seed Wartburg in a thrilling 83-80 win in Waverly. The Spartans would then fall in the semi-finals to Loras after upsetting the nationally ranked Duhawks in both regular season matchups.

The Spartans return two upperclassmen starters in their front court in Avery Butler and Peter Ragen. In his junior season, and first with the Spartans, Butler (Dubuque, Iowa/Hempstead) started in 22 of the 23 games he played, averaging 11.3 points and 6.7 rebounds over 28.1 minutes. Butler dropped a career-high in just his second game in the blue and white, scoring 39 points in a 110-102 win over Greenville in the home opener.

Ragen (Orland Park, Ill./Joliet Catholic) a two-year started for the Spartans, averaged 10.2 points and 4.2 boards in 23.9 minutes per game.

The Spartans return four key bench players from the 2018-19 season, led by one of the team’s two seniors, Henry Thompson, a three point specialist. Only one of Thompson’s field goals in 2018-19 came from inside the arc. Juniors, Dylan Hundley and Mitch Burger provided sparks off the bench last season in different fashion. Hundley saw action in all 27 games with five starts with an average of 12 minutes, 1.7 points and 2.5 rebounds. Burger (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Xavier), appeared in 21 games, averaging 6.8 points and shot 41.3% (31-75) from three point territory. As a freshman, Cade Daugherty, saw action in 23 games with no starts and produced 3.9 points per game and two rebounds.

UD returns 42.2% of their scoring, 50.8% of rebounding and 27.7% of assists.

The Spartans tip-off the 2019-20 season on Saturday, Nov. 9th at home against Finlandia at 7:30 p.m

1.  NWU (7)         63           27-2, 15-1 A-R-C
2. Simpson (2)   55           16-10, 9-7 A-R-C
3. Loras                 52           23-7, 12-4 A-R-C
4. Wartburg        37           17-9, 11-5 A-R-C
5. Dubuque        36           14-13, 6-10 A-R-C
6. Coe                   33           14-12, 8-8 A-R-C
7. Central            22           8-17, 5-11 A-R-C
8. Buena Vista   14           11-14, 5-11 A-R-C
9. Luther              12           7-17, 1-15 A-R-C