"I'm okay with being picked eighth," head coach Debby Baker said. "The teams in our conference were not able to see us compete in the spring and we grew leaps and bounds. I really think we'll surprise some teams and it will give us some added motivation to get into the top four of the conference this year."
Two-time regular season conference champion North Dakota State was pegged to finish atop the conference again, garnering 81 points and nine first-place votes in the poll. IPFW shocked the Bison in the 2009 conference tournament, beating NDSU in the championship game to advance to the NCAA tournament and were picked second in the poll with 64 points and one first-place vote.
Three through six were separated by only seven points as UMKC (54), Oakland (53), South Dakota State (49) and IUPUI (47) filled out the middle of the poll. Oral Roberts (39) was only four points ahead of Southern Utah in seventh-place as the T-Birds tallied 35 points in the poll.
Western Illinois (19) and Centenary (9) rounded out the poll in ninth and tenth-place, respectively.
Southern Utah is scheduled to open the season at the University of Wyoming the final weekend of August, participating in a four-team tournament along side Murray State, Wyoming, Northern Arizona and Central Arkansas. However, fans can get a sneak peek on Saturday night in the Centrum Arena when the Thunderbirds host the Red/White Scrimmage at 7:00PM.
For additional information go to SUU Thunderbirds