T'was a pleasant afternoon inside Parkview Field, where the annual IPFW basketball tipoff luncheon was held today.
Coaches, players and IPFW fans showed up for the "state of the Dons" talks from men's coach Dane Fife and women's coach Chris Paul.
Both mentioned their respective team's preseason ranking within the Summit League. The men were chosen to finish sixth, and the women were picked fourth.
If there's a team that could exceed its rating, it could be Paul's women's team.
With four starters back from last year's team that had a deceptive 13-17 record (deceptive because it lost its last five games without injured point guard Courtney Reed), IPFW could be significantly better than last year.
I'm not as convinced that without Deilvez Yearby, the men will be as good as last year's 16-15 team. If the Mastodons need somebody to create with six seconds remaining in the game and down by a point, that player could be 6-1 guard Jeremy Mixon, and I'm not sure he's ready to fill that role.
But back to the women.
Stephanie Rosado was a first-team All-Summit League preseason pick, and Anne Boese was picked to the second team. But the experience is deep with Jordan Zuppe, Chelsey Jackson, Sydney Weinert and Sarah Haluska.
What's scary is that the younger players - Amanda Hyde, Kayla Drake and sisters Rachel and Stefanie Mauk - could eventually be better.
Sixth place for the men? Close. But there's a chance - a chance - that the women could win the Summit League this year.