ST. LOUIS, Mo–Dana Ford will tip off his fifth season as the Missouri State coach November fifth in an exhibition game against Newman.

Wednesday, the Missouri Valley released its preseason poll and the Bears are picked to finish fourth.

The Bears got 418 points, just two votes more than the defending champ Northern Iowa Panthers.

Bears senior forward Donovan Clay was named second team All-Valley.

Clay is one of two players returning to the Bears roster.

The other 14 players on the roster are newcomers.

Lets take a look at the preseason poll voted on by the Valley coaches and selected media.

Drake is the overwhelming favorite to win, getting 52 of the 54 first place votes.

Bradley is second, then comes Southern Illinois, there’s Missouri State and Northern Iowa is fifth.

Belmont checks in at number six, then comes Indiana State, Murray State, Valpo is ninth, Illinois State, Illinois Chicago and Evansville round out the poll.