RELEASE | Four Grizzlies Named to HCAC's Players to Watch List; Franklin Picked to Finish Sixth by League's Coaches

RELEASE | Four Grizzlies Named to HCAC's Players to Watch List; Franklin Picked to Finish Sixth by League's Coaches

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) released its 2018 men's basketball pre-season coaches' poll on Thursday (Oct. 25) afternoon.

Four returning members of the Franklin College basketball team were named to the league's list of "Players to Watch." Juniors Kale Morris and Borden Kennedy are joined by sophomores Danny Goggans and Sam Gutierrez on this year's list. Head coach Kerry Prather's squad was picked to finish sixth in the league, picking up 50 points in the rankings.

Morris is coming off a sophomore year that saw him average 10.5 points per game while shooting 42.9 percent from behind the three-point line. The Frankfort, Ind.-native led all HCAC players with 2.4 three-pointers per game and his 60 triples were the third most in the conference a season ago. For his efforts, Morris was named Honorable Mention All-HCAC last year.

Kennedy emerged as a strong two-way player for the Grizzlies as a sophomore, appearing in all 25 games and making 15 starts. The Attica, Ind.-native averaged 8.6 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists for the Grizzlies, shooting 46.7 percent from the floor while drawing the tough defensive assignments at the other end of the floor.

Gutierrez stepped into the starting lineup as a true freshman and ranked second on the team with 11.0 points per game last year. The Tipton, Ind.-native connected on 40.7 percent of his field goals and shot 30.9 percent from long range while grabbing 4.2 rebounds and handing out a team-high 2.8 assists per contest. Gutierrez hit double-figures 14 times as a true freshman, netting a career-high 26 points against Earlham on Feb. 3.

Goggans had his season cut short by injury but was a force for the Grizzlies over 15 appearances. The Indianapolis, Ind.-native averaged 9.8 points and a team-high 7.4 rebounds per contest. Goggans finished the year with three double-doubles, setting career bests with 24 points and 15 boards against Anderson on Dec. 6, 2017.

Rose-Hulman was selected as league favorites, earning 96 points and seven first-place votes. Transylvania University follows in second with 86 points and one first place vote while Hanover picked up the final two first-place votes and 80 points to slot in the third spot. The complete poll can be found below.

Franklin opens the 2018-19 season on Friday, Nov. 9, when they welcome Otterbein College to the Spurlock Center. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.

School (First Place Votes) Points
1. Rose-Hulman (7) 96
2. Transylvania (1) 86
3. Hanover (2) 80
4. Anderson  62
5. Mount St. Joseph 61
6. Franklin 50
7. Bluffton 39
8. Earlham 36
9. Defiance  20
    Manchester 20