Before Franko House was a named preseason all-league pick, and the Ball State men’s basketball team was tabbed to finish second in its division in the Mid-American Conference preseason poll released Friday, the Cardinals had some fun with the annual Sports Link video shoot.
The candid video shoot was for the Emmy-award winning “Out of the Shadows”, Sports Link’s exclusive all-access show featuring the team. Students in the program will also produce the team’s video board intro shown prior to tip at every BSU home game.
Ball State was picked second in the MAC West behind Eastern Michigan. The Cardinals received 12 first-place votes, while the Eagles had 16. The voting panel included the league’s 12 head coaches and 24 MAC media members.
House, who was an All-MAC Second Team selection last year, was tabbed as one of the top five players in the West Division. The others were James Thompson of Eastern Michigan, Marin Maric of Northern Illinois, Jonathan Williams of Toledo and Thomas Wilder of Western Michigan.
House led the Cardinals at 12.1 points per game last year and also added 5.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. The Elkhart, Indiana, native enters his senior season as one of only four players in school history with at least 900 points, 500 rebounds and 175 assists. The others are Bonzi Wells (1994-98), Derrick Wesley (1984-88) and Chandler Thompson (1989-92).
Ball State shared the MAC West Division championship with Central Michigan a year ago, finishing 10-8 in league play. With a 21-14 overall record, the Cardinals marked the fourth-largest improvement of any team in the country last year. Ball State reached the quarterfinals of the CIT in its first postseason appearance in 14 years.
The Cardinals return four starters and six of their top eight scorers from that team as they enter James Whitford‘s fourth year as head coach. The team will host UIndy for an exhibition game Thursday, Nov. 3 and will open the regular season Nov. 11 at Saint Louis.