Grizzly cagers picked third, Moniak named to Preseason All-West Team
by Jacque Scoby
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.— Led by unanimous Preseason All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference West Division selection Roman Moniak (Sacramento, Calif.), the Adams State College men’s basketball team has been picked to finish third in the West Division in the RMAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The rankings and all-conference selections were announced Wednesday morning at the RMAC Basketball Media Day, held here at the Silverwood Hotel and Conference Center.
Moniak, a 6-foot-5 senior, averaged 16.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last season en-route to First Team All-RMAC West Division honors as a junior. The Grizzlies qualified for the RMAC Shootout in that campaign, falling 80-65 to Nebraska-Kearney, which was picked to win both the East Division and conference tournament titles this season, in the first round.
“I’m excited about the year,” said head coach Larry Mortensen, speaking to the media. “I think the key to our success this season will be the guys inside. We brought in some new guys, and I’m excited to see what they can do.”
The Grizzlies received 50 points in the poll, finishing third behind Fort Lewis (15) and Mesa State (31). FLC garnered 12 first place votes, while the Mavericks received one top nod. Western State (64) received the final first place vote, but finished fifth in the voting behind Colorado State-Pueblo (59).
RMAC newcomer Western New Mexico, which rejoins the conference after a 16-year hiatus, was picked sixth with 71 points. New Mexico Highlands rounds out the 7-team West Division with 81 points.
Moniak was joined on the All-RMAC West squad by fellow unanimous selections Tim Bieri of Fort Lewis and Stephen Soriano of Mesa State. Bieri and Soriano were also named to the 5-player All-RMAC team.
Fort Lewis’ Ryan Johnson and CSU-Pueblo’s Major Willette complete the All-West team.
Nebraska-Kearney, which received all 13 possible first place votes in the East Division voting, have the RMAC's Preseason Player and Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in Dusty Jura and Ryan Moore, respectively.
Jura headlines the All-East squad and is joined on that list by Brian Stamer of Colorado Christian, Patrick Hannaway of UC-Colorado Springs, Michael Bahl of Metro State and Kyle Pape of Colorado Mines.
Metro State was picked second in the East Division, garnering one first place vote and 28 total points. Colorado Mines received 41 points to finish third, followed by Regis with 57 points. Colorado Christian (69), Chadron State (72) and UC-Colorado Springs (83) round out the division.
UCCS, now guided by former ASC assistant coach Russ Caton, makes the move to the East Division following the departure of Fort Hays State from the RMAC.
Related Item: Complete RMAC Poll