Men's Basketball Picked Fourth in NEC Preseason Coaches Poll; Horton Selected to Preseason Team

Men's Basketball Picked Fourth in NEC Preseason Coaches Poll; Horton Selected to Preseason Team

The Central Connecticut men's basketball team was picked to finish fourth in the 2010-11 Northeast Conference Preseason men's basketball coaches poll released on Wednesday. Junior forward Ken Horton, who sat out last season with an injury, was chosen to the preseason All-Conference Team for the second straight season.

Quinnipiac was chosen as the preseason favorite, and is the first unanimous selection in 14 seasons. Last year's champion Robert Morris was chosen second, Long Island was third and the Blue Devils were picked fourth.

The Blue Devils will be led by a pair of seniors this season in Shemik Thompson and Markeys Deans. Thompson led the team in scoring last season at 13.0 points per game. He added 95 assists and is among the top-10 in school history in career assists. Deans averaged 8.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game as a junior. He is the leading returning rebounder for the Blue Devils this season.

Horton missed the 2009-10 season with an injury. He was an All-Conference selection following his sophomore campaign and a preseason All-Conference pick last season before having to sit out with the injury. He averaged 16.5 ppg as a sophomore and has averaged 14.5 ppg over his two-year career.

Junior Robby Ptacek, the second-leading scorer from a year ago, also returns for the Blue Devils. Ptacek averaged 12.1 ppg in 22 games as a sophomore. He missed several games due to an injury. Ptacek has led the team in free-throw shooting in each of his two seasons. He hit 78-of-92 attempts a year ago, good for 84.8 percent.

Central opens the season on Saturday night, Nov. 13 at the Connecticut 6 Classic. The Blue Devils will face Hartford in the 6 p.m. game at the Mohegan Sun Arena. They then travel to Army on Mon., Nov. 15 for a 7 pm. start. The first home game for the Blue Devils will take place on Sat., Nov. 27 against Monmouth at 2 p.m.