The Northeast Conference announced its Preason Coaches' Poll and Preseason All-NEC Team on Wednesday at the league's "Social" Media Day at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The Central Connecticut men's basketball was picked to finish ninth in the Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, while Saint Francis U was tabbed as the preseason favorite and collected nine first-place votes.
Head coach Donyell Marshall is set to begin his second season at the helm of the Blue Devils and has a squad that returns three players with significant experience as a starter from last season, while adding five newcomers to the roster. Junior Austin Nehls started all 29 games in 2016-17 and averaged a team-high 13.4 points per game, while playing a league-high 36.1 minutes per game. Senior Mustafa Jones (10.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg) and sophomore Tyson Batiste (5.2 ppg, 2.9 apg) are the other returnees with starting experience.
The Red Flash collected nine first-place votes after finishing as runner-up in the league last season. Fairleigh Dickinson was tabbed second and collected the other first-place vote.
The Blue Devils open the season on Friday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at Hartford in Chase Arena. Central will host Nyack College for an exhibition game open to the public on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 8:00 p.m.
2017-18 NEC PRESEASON COACHES POLL (first place votes in parenthesis)
1. Saint Francis U (9)
2. Fairleigh Dickinson (1)
4. Mount St. Mary's
5. Sacred Heart
6. LIU Brooklyn
7. Robert Morris
9. Central Connecticut
10. St. Francis Brooklyn
2017-18 NEC Men's Basketball
Preseason All-NEC Team
Darian Anderson, FDU, Sr, G, 6-1, 182 lbs.
Isaiah Blackmon, SFU, Jr, G, 6-1, 170 lbs.
Keith Braxton, SFU, So, G, 6-4, 208 lbs.
Joseph Lopez, SHU, Sr, F, 6-7, 220 lbs.
Junior Robinson, MSM, Sr, G, 5-5, 150 lbs.