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Little East Conference releases men’s basketball preseason poll

Panthers picked to finish fourth in 2013-14

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University men's basketball team has been picked to finish fourth in the 2013-14 Little East Conference race, according to the annual LEC Coaches preseason poll released on Thursday.

            Rhode Island College has been projected as the preseason favorite to capture the Little East regular-season title.  The Anchormen are making their seventh appearance in the past nine seasons atop the coaches' survey with six first-place votes and a total of 60 points. Eastern Connecticut State University is ranked second with 51 points to earn the program's highest ranking since 1999-00.  Keene State College and Plymouth State rounded out the top half of the poll, with each squad receiving one first place vote; the Owls placed third with 49 points and the Panthers were fourth with 34.

            Completing the annual preseason coaches' survey in projected order of finish in the regular season standings are University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (32), University of Southern Maine (28), Western Connecticut State University (23), and the University of Massachusetts Boston (11).

            PSU head coach Andrew Novick returns eight veterans from last year's squad, including Second Team All-State guards Petey Skevas (Wethersfield, Conn.) and Alex Burt (Dover, N.H.) and Little East Conference All-Rookie Team selection Uche Nwokeji (Lynn, Mass.).  The Panthers open the season this Friday and Saturday at a tip-off tournament at Westfield State University.

            The Little East sponsors a double round-robin schedule during the regular-season conference circuit.  All eight teams will advance to the 2014 Little East Men's Basketball Championship with the quarterfinal round scheduled to begin on Tuesday, Feb. 25.  The four quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals at the highest remaining seed on Friday, Feb. 28 with the championship game the following afternoon. The champion of the Little East Men's Basketball tournament will earn the automatic qualifier into the NCAA Division III tournament.

(Courtesy of the Little East Conference)

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