SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Thursday marked Missouri State Basketball media day for both teams.
In our Bear Nation report, talk around the men was centered on the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll.
Dana Ford’s Bears were picked to finish first in the conference.
This comes despite a .500 year last season, meaning it is largely based around the hype of new players.
Some of those players also came home with preseason honors.
Senior Forward Tulio Da Silva was the lone Bear voted to the conference preseason first team after being named MVC Newcomer of the Year last season.
Three more Bears were honored as well with Keandre Cook on the second team and newcomers Lamont West and Gaige Prim on the third team.
Despite all the hype, Ford said being treated as the top team is not something they have earned yet.
“It can’t just be because somebody felt like you’ve got good players,” Ford said. “That’s kind of what I think this whole thing is about with us being picked to win the league. I guess the legendary coach at Alabama calls it rat poison. I think it’s probably a little bit of rat poison, to be quite honest.”
“It doesn’t mean anything,” Da Silva said. “We’re just glad to have this group of guys, you know? Everybody comes to the gym just ready to play and work hard every time. Days off, everyone is in the gym working on their game. I think they think it will pay off.”