HARTFORD, Conn. - The University of New Hampshire men's basketball team has been picked fifth in the America East Preseason Coaches' Poll the conference announced Wednesday at its Tip-Off Luncheon held at the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford, host city for the 2010 America East Men's and Women's Basketball Championship Presented by Newman's Own on March 4-7.
The Wildcats, who garnered 39 points to earn their highest spot in the poll since they were chosen fourth prior to the start of the 2006-07 season, return nine of 13 players from a team that reached just its sixth semifinal ever and came within two minutes of earning a berth to its first title game in school history. UNH, which finished fourth in the conference at 8-8, posted its most victories since the 1994-95 season with 14 wins a year ago.
Senior guard Colbey Santos (Onset, Mass.) and senior forward Radar Onguetou (Yaounde, Cameroon) provide the Wildcats with leadership and experience, while their loaded junior class, featuring guards Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass) and Tyrone Conley (Burlington, Vt.), as well as center Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.), will be key to their success.
Boston University, with all eight possible first-place votes (coaches were not allowed to vote for their team) and 64 total points, were unanimously selected as the preseason favorite. Vermont finished second with the remaining first-place vote and 56 points, while Albany edged Stony Brook for third with 43 points to the Seawolves' 42. Hartford and UMBC tied for sixth place with 27 points a piece, leaving Maine (14) and Binghamton (12) to round out the poll.
The Wildcats officially kick off the season Saturday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. when they play host to Suffolk at Lundholm. The ‘Cats will gear up for the season at the second-annual Basketball Season Tip-Off Event, which will be held at Lundholm on Saturday, Oct. 31 immediately following football game versus Northeastern (approximately 2:30 p.m.). Fans will get a chance to meet the men's and women's basketball teams, win great prizes and purchase season tickets at a discounted rate. For more information, call (603) 862-0806.
America East Preseason Coaches' Poll
Rank Team (1st-place votes) Total
1. Boston U. (8) 64
2. Vermont (1) 56
3. Albany 43
4. Stony Brook 42
5. New Hampshire 39
T6. Hartford 27
T6. UMBC 27
8. Maine 14
9. Binghamton 12