San Antonio – The 2012-13 Heartland Conference Men’s Basketball preseason poll is out, and the St. Mary’s Rattlers are looking up at just one team.

The same team they beat by 14 in last year’s Heartland Conference Tournament championship.

Arkansas-Fort Smith topped the poll, as voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors, with 117 votes, including seven first-place votes. St. Mary’s is second with 113 points and seven first-place votes.

Newman came in third and Texas A&M International, last year’s regular-season champion, was fourth.

The poll was released Saturday morning.

St. Mary’s returns three of five starters, including All-Region center/forward Kevin Kotzur (Sr., La Vernia, Texas), from last year’s team that won the Heartland Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Division II South Central Regional.

The Rattlers went 19-9 with a 10-3 mark in league play last season.

St. Mary’s opens the 2012-13 season at Incarnate Word on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m.

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