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Little East Conference preseason basketball polls released

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Little East Conference pre-season basketball coaches' polls were announced Tuesday and Plymouth State University was picked to finish sixth in both the men's and women's races this season. The votes were cast by the conference's head basketball coaches.

            The Panther men's basketball team was picked sixth this year after finishing in seventh place last season.  Two-time defending LEC Tournament champion Rhode Island College was a unanimous pick among the coaches to claim this year's title.  UMass Dartmouth was a solid runner-up in the poll, and Western Connecticut and Keene State tied for third. The lower half of the poll includes Eastern Connecticut in fifth, followed by PSU in sixth, UMass Boston seventh, and Southern Maine eighth.

            The Panther women's basketball team was picked to finish sixth this year, the same spot it ended up last season.  Eastern Connecticut, which won the LEC Tournament championship last season, breaking Southern Maine's 11-year hold on the title, was picked to win this year's race, receiving six first-place votes.  Southern Maine and Western Connecticut each got a top vote and tied for second in the poll.  Keene State finished in fourth place, followed by Rhode Island College in fifth, PSU in sixth, UMass Dartmouth in seventh and UMass Boston in eighth.

            Some teams open the basketball season this weekend (Nov. 15-16), with the season fully underway by next week. The LEC basketball tournaments are scheduled for the last week in February, with the conference champions receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

            The complete Little East Conference basketball preseason poll results are listed below: 

2008-09 LEC Men's Hoop Pre-Season Poll
1. Rhode Island College (8)                64

2. UMass Dartmouth                           55

3. Western Connecticut                      43

3. Keene State                                    43

5. Eastern Connecticut                       30

6. Plymouth State                               25

7. UMass Boston                                15

8. Southern Maine                               13

(first-place votes in parentheses)


2008-09 LEC Women's Hoop Pre-Season Poll
1. Eastern Connecticut (6)                 62

2. Southern Maine (1)                         51

2. Western Connecticut (1)                51

4. Keene State                                    42

5. Rhode Island College                      33

6. Plymouth State                               19

7. UMass Dartmouth                           16

8. UMass Boston                                14

 (first-place votes in parentheses)

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