PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Western Connecticut State University received four first-place votes and 59 total points to claim the top spot in the annual pre-season men’s basketball coaches’ poll.
A year ago, the Colonials finished tied for third in the league with an 8-6 mark and an overall record of 19-11. WCSU returns a number of key players who led last year’s squad to a birth in the semi-finals of the LEC Tournament. The Colonials accepted a bid to the ECAC Tournament and preceded to win three games en route to the Championship. This is the second consecutive year the Colonials have found themselves atop the league’s pre-season poll.
Plymouth State University, which received two first-place votes, finished a close second in the poll with 56 total points. The Panthers finished last season with a 24-6 overall record and an 11-3 mark in conference play, which was good for second place. PSU made it all the way to the conference championship game before falling to Keene State. Despite that loss, the Panthers received a bid to the NCAA Tournament, where they fell in the second round.
Speaking of Keene State College, the Owls find themselves third in the poll having received two first-place votes and 48 total points. KSC captured both the regular season and tournament crowns last winter, compiling a 25-6 overall record and a 13-1 mark in LEC action. With two early round wins, the Owls advanced to the sectional finals of the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual National Runner-Up, Williams College.
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth rounds out the top half of the pre-season poll as the Corsairs received 42 total points. Last year, UMD finished with a 13-14 overall record and a 5-9 conference mark, which was good for sixth place. As the sixth seed in the LEC Tournament, the Corsairs pulled a first round upset before falling in the semi-finals of the tournament.
Eastern Connecticut State University (14-12; 8-6/Tied-3rd), finished fifth in the poll with 26 points, Rhode Island College (11-15; 7-7/5th) collected 23 points, good for sixth place.
The University of Southern Maine (9-17; 3-11/7th) received 21 points to finish seventh in the poll, and the University of Massachusetts Boston (5-21; 1-13/8th) followed in eighth with 10 points.
2004-05 LEC Pre-Season Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Poll
1. Western Connecticut (4) 59
2. Plymouth State (2) 56
3. Keene State (2) 48
4. UMass Dartmouth 42
5. Eastern Connecticut 26
6. Rhode Island College 23
7. Southern Maine 21
8. UMass Boston 13
(first place votes in parentheses)