North Adams, MA- The MCLA Men's Basketball team has been selected to finish seventh in the MASCAC preseason poll released this morning. The Trailblazers are set to open their season next Friday, November 17th at the Amherst College tip-off classic against Western New England.
The Salem State Vikings have been chosen to win the 2017-18 MASCAC Men's Basketball title as voted on by the seven coaches around the conference. The Vikings received six of seven first place votes for 36 points in this year's poll.
The reigning 2016- 17 MASCAC Tournament Champions were 9-3 during the league schedule last season. Returning for the team is All-Conference honoree Shaquan Murray. Last season, he averaged 15.8 points per game with a 46.3 field goal percentage, 81.5 free throw percentage, 56 rebounds and 41 assists.
Earning the final first place vote with 28 points is Bridgewater State. The Bears closed out last season with a 7-5 record in conference play. During the 2016-17, Rocky DeAndrade netted 86 assists, 46 steals and a 42 percent three-points percentage which all were the third-best in the league. He also tallied 13.8 points per game with 99 rebounds and an 85 free throw percentage on his way to All-Conference honors.
Fitchburg State sits in the third slot with 27 points. The 2016-17 MASCAC Regular Season Champions were 10-2 last season. Back on the squad this season is 2016-17 All-Conference member Joshua Bosworth who averaged 10.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game plus 41 assists, 29 steals and 19 blocks.
Landing in fourth with 19 points is Westfield State. The Owls were 6-6 during MASCAC action last season. Peter Mafo returns to the hardwood for the Owls. He averaged 11.1 points per game last season while also tallying 61 assists, 28 steals and 44 rebounds with a 44.2 field goal percentage. Up next in fifth is 2016-17 MASCAC Tournament runner-up Worcester State with 18 points.
The Lancers had a 6-6 mark in league play during the 2016-17. Last season, Jamal Mustapha totaled 204 points, 96 rebounds, 38 assists, 32 steals and five blocks.
Closing out the 2017-18 preseason poll are Framingham State and MCLA in sixth and seventh with 13 and six points, respectively. The Rams netted four wins during conference action last season. Tony Alexandre returns to the squad after leading the team with 10.9 points per game while also tallying 248 rebounds, 28 steals, 27 assists and 16 blocks.
The 2017-18 Men's Basketball season kicks off next week with the MASCAC teams competing in their season opening non-conference contests. Catch all the action at mascac.com.