SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Endicott College has been selected as the preseason favorite to win the 2012-13 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Men’s Basketball Championship, it was announced today by Commissioner Gregg M. Kaye. Voting for the preseason poll was conducted among the league’s head men’s basketball coaches.
Defending conference champion Endicott (20-9, 12-6 CCC) received eight of a possible 10 first place votes in the 2012-13 CCC preseason poll. Wentworth Institute of Technology (17-11, 12-6) was selected to finish second, while acquiring one first place vote. The 2011-12 runner-up, Salve Regina University (21-10, 15-3) was picked to finish third, while Curry College and Gordon College were slated to finish fourth and fifth, respectively. Rounding out the remaining five slots was Nichols College (sixth), Roger Williams University (seventh), Western New England University (eighth), University of New England (ninth), and Eastern Nazarene College (10th).
Reigning CCC Men’s Basketball Champion, the Endicott Gulls, return four of their five starters including last season’s Rookie of the Year forward Andre Makris and All-CCC winners senior guard Lance Greene, junior guard/forward Lachlan Magee, and sophomore guard John Henault. Endicott’s high-octane offense welcomes back its top four leading scorers from the 2011-12 team, led by Greene and Magee’s 13.4 points per game. Greene is just 85 points shy of 1,000 for his career and with a good season, Magee could eclipse the same milestone in just his junior season. Head coach Phil Rowe returns for his fourth season at the helm, having guided the program to increased win totals in each of his first three seasons including last year’s 20-9 overall record. Greene, Magee, and juniors Tyler Burkhart and Bennett Knowlton captain this year’s squad eager to duplicate their successes in a highly competitive conference this winter.
Wentworth returns 10 players from a 2011-12 season that saw the Leopards finish 17-11, reach the CCC semifinals for a third straight season and appear in the ECAC Tournament for a third straight season. Of the 10 returning players the Leopards return three starters, including senior Corey Therriault and junior Derek Mayo who earned All-CCC honors a season ago. Therriault averaged 12.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.6 steals per game while leading the team with 56 3-pointers made. Mayo averaged 9.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 2.1 steals per game. Sophomore John-Michael Fragnoli returns after a solid freshman season that saw him average 5.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game, while seniors Colin Johnson and Matt Harte and sophomores Nico Donato and Ray Bessette also return to help the Leopards contend for a conference title.
Salve Regina finished the 2011-2012 campaign with a 21-10 record, setting a school record for wins. The Seahawk’s season saw significant improvements within the program as they reached both the CCC and ECAC Division III New England Championship games. Coach Sean Foster begins his 11th season as head coach at Salve Regina and first as reigning CCC Coach of the Year. Junior Isiah Pringle returns as the team’s leader in points-per-game (12.8), minutes-per-game (26.8), and 3-pointers-per-game (2.5). The Seahawks see a surge of youth in the program this year, with seven freshmen added to the roster.
Featuring a cast of 11 returning players and four newcomers, Curry is looking to make a deep run in the CCC playoffs under 10th-year Head Coach Malcolm Wynn. Starting in the backcourt this year and leading Curry’s offense from the point guard position is junior captain Lambros Papalambros, a Second Team All-CCC selection a year ago. This season’s frontcourt will be led by senior captain Sedale Jones, who led the conference in scoring last year (21.1 points/game) and was named to the All-Conference First Team. Jones has scored 953 points in just two seasons with the Colonels. Junior forward A.J. Stephens played in five contests for the Colonels last season, averaging 14.2 points and 9.2 rebounds and is a likely starter this year.
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