COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (October 11, 2016) - Senior center Nelson Kahler (Noosa Heads, Australia) was honored as Preseason All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tuesday, as the league announced its preseason all-conference team and coaches' poll. The Colorado State University-Pueblo men's basketball team was placed seventh in the 2016-17 RMAC Preseason Coaches' Poll.
Kahler was an All-RMAC Second Team member in his first season with the ThunderWolves. He gathered four RMAC Defensive Player of the Week (Dec. 21, Jan. 5, Feb. 8, Feb. 29) honors during the 2015-16 season, largely due to leading the RMAC with 64 blocks. He finished 22nd nationally in total blocks and with 2.2 bpg was 21st. As a junior he averaged 11.9 points per game on a 56.6 shooting percentage from the field that ranked seventh in the RMAC. Kahler brought down 6.5 rebounds per game to sit tied for ninth in the conference. He played and started 28 games and averaged 23.1 minutes per game.
Kahler recorded 10 or more points on 17 occasions, which included 30 points in a win against University of Colorado Colorado Springs (Feb. 5). He added 10 rebounds against the Mountain Lions, which was one of his five games with 10 or more rebounds and one of two double-doubles. He posted three or more rejections in 14 games, which included a seven block effort against Chadron State (Jan. 3). The seven blocks ranked as the most by a player in the RMAC last season, the second most in a single game in program history and tied for 20th nationally in 2015-16.
The ThunderWolves totaled 124 points in the preseason poll, which placed them seventh after a 12-10 conference record (16-13 overall) last season placed them eighth in the final standings.
The 15 first-place votes were delegated between the top three teams in the poll, as Colorado School of Mines (five votes) was first with 186 points, while defending regular season and tournament champions Fort Lewis College gathered seven first place votes and 180 points for second. Metro State University of Denver nabbed the final three first-place votes and totaled 178 points for third.
Just seven points separated fourth and seventh with New Mexico Highlands University gathering 133 points, UCCS totaled 131 points and Colorado Mesa University finished just a head of the Pack with 130 points.
Fort Lewis senior guard Joshua Blaylock was named RMAC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while Colorado Mines senior guard/forward Gokul Natesan was the RMAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
CSU-Pueblo, under sixth-year head coach Ralph Turner, returns two starters and eight letterwinners from last season and will begin 2016-17 at Rogers State Nov. 11. The home opener is set for Nov. 18 against UCCS.
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As a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Colorado State University – Pueblo competes in 22 varsity sports in NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics