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Eastern Connecticut Selected as Favorite in 2015 Little East Conference Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll

Eastern Connecticut Selected as Favorite in 2015 Little East Conference Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll

Pawtucket, R.I. – The Warriors of Eastern Connecticut were chosen by the head coaches of the LEC as the pre-season selection to win the Little East Conference regular season title in 2016.  ECSU garnered seven first-place and one second-places votes for a total of 63 points in the process.

 

Keene State was second with one first-place vote, five second-place votes, and a fourth-place and a fifth-place vote for a total of 52 points.  The Owls welcome interim head coach Ryan Cain to the program. Cain comes to Keene from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he spent 12 years as both a player and a coach.  Cain is the Engineers’ all-time leading scorer and led the Engineers to four New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) regular season championships and a pair of NEWMAC tournament titles.   The Engineers reached the NCAA tournament in Cain’s final three years as a player (2005-07), including the Sweet 16 in 2005.

 

Returning four starters among its ten letter winners from last year’s NCAA Division III tournament-qualifying team, the Eastern Connecticut State University men’s basketball team has been ranked 14th nationally in the 2015/16 D3hoops.com pre-season Top 25 poll.

 

Coming off its sixth straight 20-win season and sixth straight post-season tournament appearance, Eastern (22-6/13-1 Little East Conference) returns four starters from a team which won its third Little East regular-season title in four years and qualified for its third NCAA Division III tournament in four years last year under head coach Bill Geitner, now in his 14th season.

 

Four seniors return for the Warriors: guards Trachone Preston (Enfield), Kevin Leumene (Stamford) and Michael-Thomas Sciro (Westerly, RI) and forward Matthew Sterner (Plymouth). In addition to Preston and Leumene, returning starters include junior post player Hugh Lindo (Enfield) and sophomore guard Tarchee Brown (Rockville).

Preston (16.9 ppg.), Brown (14.5), Leumene (11.9) and Lindo (11.7) were last year’s double-figure scorers, with Lindo (11.4), Brown (5.3) and Leumene (5.1) the top rebounders. Sciro came off the bench to average 5.1 points.

 

Sophomore guard Collin Jordan (Cheshire), who started seven games when Preston was injured late in the season, averaged 5.6 points and shot 47.0 percent from the floor. Preston (49), Brown (46), Leumene (25) and Sciro (21) were the team’s top three-point threats.

Brown, Lindo and Preston were all named first-team All-LEC last year, with Brown also selected conference Rookie-of-the-Year and Lindo to the All-Defensive Team.

 

The Little East Conference will sponsor a double round-robin schedule with each teams meeting twice during the regular-season conference circuit. All eight teams will advance to the 2016 Little East Men's Basketball Championship with the quarterfinal round scheduled to begin on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. The four quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals at the highest remaining seed. The semifinal round will be played on Friday, Feb. 26 with the championship game the following afternoon. The champion of the 2015 Little East Men's Basketball tournament will earn the automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III tournament.

 

Formed in 1986, the Little East serves as New England's premier athletic conference for public institutions in NCAA Division III. Featuring 19 championship sports, the Little East sponsors quality competition in every season for our student athletes. Our eight state colleges and universities dedicate themselves to an ongoing fulfillment of the Division III mission of passion, responsibility, sportsmanship, and citizenship.

 

2015-16 Little East Conference Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll

Institution

First Place Votes

Total Points

1. Eastern Connecticut

7

63

2. Keene State

1

52

3. Rhode Island College

 

44

4. UMass Dartmouth

 

41

5. Western Connecticut

 

40

6. Plymouth State

 

22

7. UMass Boston

 

15

8. Southern Maine

 

11