UCCS Picked Ninth in Preseason Poll

By Doug Fitzgerald published October 30, 2009

A year ago, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs men's basketball team overcame a dismal 0-7 start, rallying to finish with a 10-9 record in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and qualifying for the conference playoffs for only the third time in school history. Coming into the 2009-10 season, the Mountain Lions lost only two players to graduation from that team and added a strong recruiting class.

All that should be reason for optimism.

But not according to the RMAC coaches who will be playing against UCCS this season.

The Mountain Lions were picked to finish fifth in the RMAC's Eastern Division and ninth overall by the RMAC preseason coaches' poll. No UCCS player was selected for the RMAC's preseason all-conference team.

The coaches ranked conference teams from 1-13, omitting their own team. The points were then added to determine the predicted finish with the lowest point total being the top pick. New Mexico Highlands, coming off a tremendous 20-8 season and returning three preseason all-conference selections (Roman Andrade, Chris Dunn and Rashard Peterson) was the top pick by RMAC coaches with 22 points. Metro State was tabbed to win the East Division and take second overall with 27 points.

Those two division leaders were followed by Fort Lewis (42), Mesa State (50), Colorado Christian (61), Nebraska-Kearney (78), Colorado State-Pueblo (86) and Colorado School of Mines (88).

UCCS led the teams on the outside of the eight-team playoff field with 124 points, followed closely by Regis (125), Western State (132), Western New Mexico (135), Chadron State (148) and Adams State (160).

UCCS coach Russ Caton, who has guided the Mountain Lions to the playoffs in two of his three seasons at the school, returns a strong core. Guards Ben Feilmeier, Jordan McClung and Scott Sublousky averaged 9.6, 8.9 and 8.5 points respectively. Forward Cole Smith was named third-team All-RMAC East Division despite playing much of the season with a painful leg injury. Forward Chris Fernandez averaged 7.1 points per game while shooting 51.1 percent from the field, including 39.5 percent from 3-point range. Sophomore center Tommy Klausner was a force as a freshman, averaging 14.4 rebounds per 40 minutes, a total a full two rebounds better than anybody else in the RMAC.

Defensive-minded swingman Alex Snyder, a senior, also returns along with former quarterback Luke Hristou and promising Rob Howe and Levi Harris.

To that group, Caton added two transfers, Brent Jones and Eric Gardzina, plus a pair of freshmen, Adam Link and Damar Hill, both of whom could see significant playing time immediately.

The Mountain Lions will play exhibition games against two Division I teams, Weber State and Idaho, on Monday and Tuesday before opening the season at home against Colorado College on Nov. 20.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Tommy KlausnerTommy Klausner44C/FFr.
Tommy KlausnerTommy Klausner44C/FR-Fr.
Tommy KlausnerTommy Klausner44C/FFr.
Chris FernandezChris Fernandez30FFr.
Chris FernandezChris Fernandez30FSo.
Chris FernandezChris Fernandez24F
Cole SmithCole Smith32FJr.
Cole SmithCole Smith32F
Scott SublouskyScott Sublousky15GFr.
Scott SublouskyScott Sublousky15GSr.
Levi HarrisLevi Harris34GFr.
Levi HarrisLevi Harris34G
Luke HristouLuke Hristou35FSo.
Luke HristouLuke Hristou35F
Luke HristouLuke Hristou35F
Damar HillDamar Hill30G
Damar HillDamar Hill30G
Damar HillDamar Hill30G
Eric GardzinaEric Gardzina42FSr.
Brent JonesBrent Jones10F
Brent JonesBrent Jones10FSr.
Adam LinkAdam Link33F
Additional News Stories
December 18, 2010UCCS Men Say Goodbye to Lions' Den by Setting Records in Win Over CSU-PuebloCOLORADO SPRINGS - Cole Smith grabbed 14 of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs' 51 rebounds as the Mountain Lions said goodbye to the Lions' Den with a 96-88 win over the Colorado State-Pueblo Thunderwolves Friday evening.
May 5, 2010Mountain Lions add JUCO guardUniversity of Colorado at Colorado Springs men's basketball coach Russ Caton continued to add talent to his team with Wednesday's announcement of the signing of guard Chase Richards to a national letter of intent.
May 3, 2010Caton adds two freshmen to recruiting classUniversity of Colorado at Colorado Springs men's basketball coach Russ Caton announced Monday the signing of two Colorado freshmen to national letters of intent. Joining the Mountain Lions for the 2010-11 season will be Jordan Carter of Chatfield High School and Dalton Patten from Chaparral High School.
April 29, 2010Frick joins Mountain Lions for 2010-11University of Colorado at Colorado Springs men's basketball coach Russ Caton announced Thursday the signing of forward Garrett Frick to a national letter of intent.
March 3, 2010Three Mountain Lions named third-team All-RMAC East DivisionChris Fernandez, Alex Snyder and Ben Feilmeier were all named third-team All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference East Division for men's basketball, the conference announced Wednesday.
Visit our Facebook pageVisit the UCCS Mount Lion's Twitter pageVisit the UCCS Mountain Lions Youtube pageVisit UCCS Rss feeds