The Central Connecticut men's basketball team will play its second contest of the Showcase on the Banks event on Friday night when it travels to ECU. Tipoff in Greenville, NC, is set for 7:00 p.m. on ESPN3.
The Blue Devils have dropped three games, all on the road, to open the year, most recently an 80-55 setback at St. John's on Tuesday.
GAMEDAY INFORMATION | Minges Coliseum (Greenville, NC)
OPENING NOTES • Central is facing ECU for the fifth time, and for the first time sine Nov. 30, 2014. The Blue Devils are in the midst of a stretch of playing four games in the first seven days of the season. Central has played all four games on the road. Today's game is the second of the Showcase on the Banks event. Central will play its first home game on Tuesday, Nov. 21, when it hosts Coppin State.
JONES, BUTE SHOOTING STRONG TO START• Senior Mustafa Jones and junior Deion Bute have given Central a solid presence in the post with strong starts. Jones is averaging 13.0 points and has shot .621 (18-of-29) from the floor. He's the only Blue Devil in double-figures in each of the first three games. Bute is coming off a career-high 19-point (8-of-11), 9-rebound game in 31 minutes at St. John's. Bute his hitting .565 (13-of-23) from the field and has a team-high 10 blocked shots through three games.
NORTHEAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLL • The NEC announced its preseason coaches poll on Oct. 25 at "Social" Media Day in Brooklyn, NY, at the Barclay's Center. CCSU was picked 9th in the poll. The team picked 9th in the last two seasons advanced to the NEC title game (Fairleigh Dickingson, 2015-16 and Saint Francis U, 2016-17). Last season's runner-up, Saint Francis U, was the unanimous choice to win the league. Complete poll (first place votes): 1. Saint Francis U (9), 2. Fairleigh Dickinson (1), 3. Wagner, 4. Mount St. Mary's, 5. Sacred Heart, 6. LIU Brooklyn, 7. Robert Morris, 8. Bryant, 9. Central Connecticut, 10. St. Francis Brooklyn
CLOSE CONTESTS • Central's first two games were decided by a combined total of five points. It was the closest margin for two opening games since dropping the first two games of 2012-13 by a combined 4 points (64-63 vs. Fairfield, 64-61 at Saint Peter's). CCSU's one-point loss at Hartford was the first time it lost a game by one point since Nov. 10, 2012 (64-63 vs. Fairfield).
UP NEXT • The Blue Devils will play their first home game of the year on Tuesday, Nov. 21. Central will host Coppin State at 7:00 p.m. as part of the Showcase on the Banks event.