The Dodge City Conquistadors men's basketball team was predicted to finish fifth in the Jayhawk West according to a coaches' conference poll released Monday by the Conference.
The DCCC Lady Conqs are predicted to finish eighth in the west this season according to the conference women's basketball coaches.
The Dodge City men finished 20-12 overall and 9-7 overall but have a new head coach in Kyle Campbell. Campbell had been an assistant for legendary Coffeyville head coach Jay Herkelman before taking over the Conqs' head position after Brady Trenkle left after last season.
Dodge City has three players back this season: guard Connor Carman, and post players Tyler Francis and Tyler Hosman. Among the 15 new faces on the preseason roster include four sophomore transfer guards: Greg Travis, Isaiah Richardson, Vic Adams and Keith Crockett. Francis and Hosman are the only post players with any experience at the collegiate level.
Lucas McDonald, leading the Lady Conqs (8-22, 0-16) for his second season, has only one player returning from last season: post player Casey McCauley, and only one other player with college experience, guard/forward Abigail Albright. McDonald did seem to go recruiting to certain areas, grouping more than one player signing together where players may know each other and help build continuity at the start of the season.
The coach has three players from the area (guards Kesha Buckner and Brenna Briggs of Dodge City, Austynia Ruiz of Minneola), three from the San Antonio area that is the home of assistant Crystal Reed (guards Nicole Salazar and Kelli Tolar, forward Samantha Herrera) and two from Chicago (guards Jameeshia Armstrong and Jakyrah Westmoreland).
Seward County is expected to win both the Jayhawk men's and women's Western divisions this season.
The remainder of the men's predicted poll includes Hutchinson second, followed by Barton, Cloud County, the Conqs, Garden City, Butler, Pratt and Colby. Garden City was picked second in the women's poll, followed by Hutchinson, Butler, Cloud County, Barton, Pratt, the Lady Conqs and Colby.
Coffeyville is expected to win the Jayhawk East men's title, followed by Cowley, Independence, Neosho County, Labette, Johnson County, Kansas City (Kan.), Highland, Allen and Fort Scott. Cowley is picked to claim the division's women's title followed by Independence, Johnson County, Coffeyville, Allen, Labette, Highland, KCK, Neosho County and Fort Scott.