Dangerfield's Mountain Lions picked to finish 10th in RMAC poll

By Doug Fitzgerald published November 1, 2010

Rodney Dangerfield must have been a Mountain Lion. Only he got as little respect as Russ Caton and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs men's basketball program.

Caton has guided UCCS to three playoff appearances in his four years as coach, including each of the past two seasons. He returns the core of those two teams with five returning seniors, three of whom were starters. So with his bona fides for success established and top talent returning, where do the RMAC coaches predict Caton's team will finish?

Tenth.

"I'm not surprised," said Caton. "We didn't bring in any big-name guys and we lot an all-conference senior (Cole Smith).

"I like being the underdog. I think our teams play better when they have something to prove. This should provide some motivation for us."

Each of the conference's 14 coaches ranked teams in their predicted order of finish, with one being the best and omitting their own team, for the annual RMAC preseason coaches' poll which was released Monday. Using that criteria, UCCS accrued 118 points, one more than ninth-place Adams State (which finished 5-14 in RMAC play compared to UCCS' 9-10). Western New Mexico was 11th with 121, followed by Chadron State (143), Regis (151) and Western State (161).

"We're better than 10th," said Caton. "I think we have a bunch of guys this year who are going to find a way to get it done."

Fort Lewis was picked to finish atop the conference with 17 points. Metro State was second with 24, followed by Colorado Mines (34), Mesa State (64), Nebraska-Kearney (73), New Mexico Highlands (77), Colorado State-Pueblo (78) and Colorado Christian (101).

In addition to the team snub, no UCCS player was selected among the ten preseason all-conference picks. DeAndre Lansdowne of Fort Lewis was named the preseason player of the year as well as the preseason defensive player of the year. Joining Lansdowne as unanimous preseason All-RMAC picks were Dale Minschwaner of Colorado Miens and Reggie Evans of Metro State.

The rest of the team consists of: Jobi Wall (Colorado Christian), Max Froehlich (Nebraska-Kearney), Sean Armstrong (Colorado Mines), T.J. Riley (Western New Mexico), Moala Tautuaa (Chadron State), David Kanyinda (Fort Lewis) and Jonathan Morse (Metro State).

For the RMAC release, click here.

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