Panthers looking to make noise in LEC in 2018-19
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University was selected to finish eighth in the Little East Conference (LEC) by the league's men's basketball head coaches after the league released its Preseason Coaches' Poll Friday afternoon.
Defending regular season and conference tournament champion Eastern Connecticut State University picked up five first place votes to finish in a tie for first with Keene State (four first place votes) with 60 points. The Owls fell to ECSU in the league's title game last winter.
University of Massachusetts Boston (43 points) was picked third, just ahead of Western Connecticut State (40 points) and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (39 points).
Southern Maine and Rhode Island College ended tied for sixth with 24 points apiece, with the Panthers right behind with 20 points. Castleton University, new to the LEC in 2018-19, rounded out the poll with 14 points.
The Panthers boasted the league's top one-two punch last year, as junior Jaylen LeRoy (Manchester, N.H.) and senior Mike Osgood (Nashua, N.H.) both earned All-LEC First Team recognition. LeRoy poured in 23.7 points a game to lead the conference in scoring, a mark that was the 13th highest in all of NCAA Division III. He topped the 30-point mark seven times last winter, including a career-high 43-point outburst at Rhode Island College in mid-January. LeRoy enters the year just 133 points shy of the 1,000-career point mark.
Osgood led the Panthers in scoring 12 times a year ago, averaging 21.4 points per game to finish second in the league behind LeRoy. A true complete player, Osgood also pulled down 7.5 rebounds per game, the fourth highest total in the conference, while finishing the year with 2.7 assists per game. The two-way player who dazzled fans with his thunderous dunks was selected to the D3hoops.com All-Northeast Region Third Team. He posted career-bests in every offensive category last season and enters the year 37th among the Panthers' all-time scoring leaders with 939 points.
Senior Liam Densmore (Portland, Maine) provides the team with a capable third scoring option. The 5-10 guard stormed out of the gates last year, burying 11 triples over his first two games. He led the team in accuracy from long range, shooting 36.6% from distance, and topped the 20-point mark twice.
Senior Chris Calnan (Wakefield, Mass.) will be looked at to provide veteran leadership. The 6-2 guard averaged just shy of three rebounds and two assists a game while battling injury. Additionally, junior Ryan Roggenbuck (Goffstown, N.H.) looks to increase his role on the interior after the 6-11 center averaged 3.0 rebounds per game in limited action a year ago.
The Panthers tip-off the season with a Salute the Troops game against St. Joseph's of Maine at Foley Gymnasium on Nov. 9. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
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