FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2016
Franklin Pierce, Southern Connecticut Picked Atop Respective Divisions
MANSFIELD, Mass. – The Franklin Pierce Ravens and Southern Connecticut Owls have been picked as the preseason favorites to win their respective divisions, as the NE-10 Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll was released by the league office on Wednesday.
For complete results of the poll, which is voted upon by the league's head coaches, please see below.
Southern Connecticut took the top spot in the Southwest Division with a total of 85 points and eight first-place votes, while Franklin Pierce garnered the top spot in the Northeast Division with 94 points and seven first-place nods.
The Owls, who are ranked 13th in the nation in the NABC Preseason Poll, won their third consecutive Southwest Division title last season after going 17-3 in conference play. Leading the way for Southern Connecticut will be two-time all-conference guard Michael Mallory, who led the NE-10 in scoring a season ago with 23.0 points per game, along with reigning NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year Austin Carter.
The Ravens are coming off a season in which they finished 16-12 overall and 12-9 in the NE-10, including a road victory in the first round of the NE-10 Championship. Orchestrating the Franklin Pierce attack this year will be guard Donte Gittens, a third team all-conference choice last season. Gittens and fellow returnees Matt Banton and Mike McDevitt each averaged more than 13 points per game a season ago.
Saint Rose was pegged at No. 2 in the Southwest Division with 79 points and four first-place votes. Adelphi was slotted at No. 3 with 71 points and three votes for first place. Le Moyne (4th – 40 Pts.), New Haven (5th – 39), American International (6th – 31) and Pace (7th – 26) concluded the remainder of the division.
Saint Anselm landed the No. 2 spot in the Northeast Division with 87 points and three first-place nods. Defending NE-10 Champion Southern New Hampshire was selected third with 81 points and a pair of votes for first place, and reigning NCAA East Regional Champion Stonehill was tabbed fourth with 78 points and three first-place votes. Bentley (5th – 55), Assumption (6th – 28), Merrimack (7th – 27) and Saint Michael’s (8th – 26) rounded out the division.
Mallory and Stonehill forward Ryan Logan, both all-conference first-teamers last season, received national recognition prior to the 2016-17 campaign. Basketball Times and The Sporting News selected both as Preseason All-Americans, while the Division II Bulletin tabbed Mallory as a Super 16 selection and Logan as an honorable mention choice.
In addition to Southern Connecticut’s No. 13 ranking, Southern New Hampshire and Stonehill both received votes in the NABC poll. Additionally, the Owls were listed at No. 4 in the DII Bulletin’s Preseason Top 25, while SNHU came in at No. 20.
2015-16 all-conference returnees include Harrison Taggart (Saint Anselm), Tyler Sayre (Saint Rose), Matt Bonds (Saint Michael’s), Chris Walters (SNHU) and Manny Suarez (Adelphi).
NE-10 teams begin the new season this weekend with the first games taking place on Friday. The 2016-17 NE-10 Championship is slated to begin with first round contests on Feb. 24. Quarterfinal matchups will take place on Feb. 26, while the semifinals are set for March 1. The 2017 NE-10 Men’s Basketball Championship Game will be played on Saturday, March 4.
2016-17 NE-10 Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Franklin Pierce - 94 Pts. (7)
2. Saint Anselm - 87 (3)
3. So. New Hampshire - 81 (2)
4. Stonehill - 78 (3)
5. Bentley - 55
6. Assumption - 28
7. Merrimack - 27
8. Saint Michael’s - 26
1. So. Connecticut - 85 Pts. (8)
2. Saint Rose - 79 (4)
3. Adelphi - 71 (3)
4. Le Moyne - 40
5. New Haven - 39
6. American Int’l - 31
7. Pace - 26
(#) - indicates first-place votes
ABOUT THE NORTHEAST-10
The Northeast-10 Conference is an association of 15 NCAA Division II colleges and universities located in New England and New York that is committed to supporting balanced academic and athletic opportunities for more than 6,500 student-athletes.
Each year, 4,500 of those student-athletes compete in conference championships in 24 sports, making the NE-10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the Northeast-10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.