Hanover's men's basketball was picked to finish second and the women third in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference preseason coach's poll.

Rose-Hulman garnered 87 to points to edge Hanover by one point in the men's poll. The Engineers picked up three first-place votes while Hanover was named first on four ballots.

Defiance was picked third with 78 points and two first-place votes followed by Mount St. Joseph (64), Transylvania (62 with one first place vote), Franklin (53), Bluffton (48), Manchester (29), Anderson (23), and Earlham (20).

Rose-Hulman will be looking to capture its second consecutive HCAC championship this season. The Engineers won the HCAC title last winter, posting a 24-4 record overall and a 16-2 mark in league play. Rose-Hulman beat Hanover in the championship game of the conference tournament 64-59 and fell to Calvin in the opening round of the NCAA Division III tournament.

The Engineers return the HCAC Player of the Year from last year's team. Julian Strickland, a senior from Indianapolis, earned the conference's top honor last season after averaging a team-high 14.6 points per game with 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per contest. DIII News ranked Rose-Hulman at No. 20 in its preseason poll and named Strickland to its top 24 players in the nation list.

Hanover returns a second team All-HCAC selection from last year's squad. Tim Bass, a junior from Indianapolis, led the team in scoring and assists, averaging 13.2 points and 4.9 assists per game as a sophomore.

In addition to Bass, junior guard Kyle James, junior center Desmond Marks and senior forward Jacob Rieger were listed as players to watch.

Hanover's men open their season Nov. 18 against Spalding (Ky.) University.

Transylvania received seven of the 10 first-place votes and 94 points overall and was named the favorite in the women's poll.

Franklin was voted second with 89 points and two first-place votes and Hanover was picked third with 79 points and one first place vote.

Defiance College was listed fourth with 65 points followed by Manchester (60), Bluffton (50), Rose-Hulman (46), Earlham (28), Anderson (25), and College of Mount St. Joseph (14).

Hanover finished third in the league standings last season, posting a 21-8 overall record and a 12-6 mark in league play. Hanover defeated Transylvania in the championship game of the HCAC tournament, claiming a bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Panthers fell in the opening round 86-68 to Ohio Northern.

Hanover returns All-HCAC selection Alicia Hopkins, a junior from Columbus, to the lineup this season. The guard averaged 12.8 points per game while leading the conference with 89 steals.

In addition to Hopkins, senior forward Elyse Weddle was named as a player to watch in the conference.

Hanover's women open the season Nov. 15 against Maryville (Tenn.) at the Transylvania (Ky.) Classic in Lexington, Ky.