The Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart) will hold its unofficial tip-off for the 2018-19 basketball season with the Fourth Annual Virtual Media Day on Thursday, October 25.
Fans of the 13-team conference will be able to hear in-depth previews and commentary from each head coach in a prepared format, taking a look forward into the 2018-19 season as well as getting candid thoughts from the team leaders.
Peru State head women’s coach Joan Albury and head men’s basketball coach Bob Ludwig will be joined by seniors Lauren Beath (Bakersfield, Calif.) and Brandon Jones (Houston) with their respective team videos. Albury is in her first full year as the women’s head coach, but is in her second stint as the leader. Ludwig is in his second year as well as the men’s coach.
In an effort to produce a thorough preview and showcase each team without sacrificing practice time on campus for the coaches who had to travel to Kansas City for previous on-site media outings, the conference is continuing with the digital format. Videos for each men’s and women’s program will be made available on Oct. 25 along with the preseason coaches’ polls.
The videos for both the women and men will go live at 9 a.m. on the 25th. The first regular season game on the women’s side is scheduled for October 27 when William Penn (Iowa) hosts the Association Free Lutheran Bible School at 1 p.m. Graceland (Iowa) will be hosting York at 5 p.m. on the same day. On the men’s side, William Penn (Iowa) will host the Association Free Lutheran Bible School at 3 p.m. on the 27th. Grand View (Iowa) will host the same team the next day at 3 p.m.
Both Beath and Jones are transfers with Beath being in her second year in a Bobcat uniform while Jones is playing his senior year at Peru State. Beath, a 5-10 guard, was third on the team in scoring last year averaging 10.8 points per game. She is a threat from the outside as she hit 37.1% of her three-point tries. Jones, a transfer from Montana Western, where he was a member of their team which made it to the national tournament. He finished the year as an honorable mention All-American after averaging 16 points and eight rebounds per game.
Both teams will begin their season on Friday, Nov. 2, in a tournament. The women will be participating in the Cattle Classic hosted by Concordia University in Seward. The Bobcats will face the tourney hosts at 6 p.m. The men will be hosting the Heart/KCAC Classic and will begin the season by hosting the University of St. Mary (Kan.) at 6:30 p.m.
The first round of conference games will take place on November 14. Peru State’s first Heart conference match-up on Nov. 17 will be against Central Methodist in the AWAC. The women will face the Eagles at 2 p.m. with the men’s game scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.