Wonder Boys Picked to Win GAC Hoops Title

Arkansas Tech University is the preseason favorite among league head coaches to win the first Great American Conference men’s basketball championship.

The Wonder Boys received seven first-place votes and a total of 63 points in the preseason poll. Harding University (2nd, 54 points) and Arkansas-Monticello (3rd, 48 points) both received one first-place vote.

Arkansas Tech finished with an overall record of 25-6 last season. The Wonder Boys won the Gulf South Conference West Division regular season title, finished as GSC Tournament runner-up and reached the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament.

Head coach Doug Karleskint (photographed) welcomed back one starter — senior guard Johnie Davis — from last year’s squad. Davis was Arkansas Tech’s leading scorer a year ago (16.3 points per game).

A total of six returning lettermen and 11 newcomers make up Karleskint’s second roster as Tech head men’s basketball coach. The new faces include NCAA Division I transfers Will Paul (Stanford University), Paul Cooper (Texas Tech), Mykel Cleveland (Southern Illinois) and Jeff Reese (Murray State).

Southwestern Oklahoma State (4th, 38 points), Southeastern Oklahoma State (5th, 27 points), Ouachita Baptist (6th, 26 points), East Central (7th, 24 points), Henderson State (8th, 23 points) and Southern Arkansas (9th, 21 points) round out the GAC men’s basketball preseason poll.

The NCAA Division II Great American Conference is in its first year of competition. The inaugural men’s and women’s GAC Basketball Tournaments will be played March 1-4 at Bruin Fieldhouse in Bartlesville, Okla.

Click here to learn more about Arkansas Tech men’s basketball.