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Little East Conference preseason basketball polls released

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

            The Panther men's basketball team was picked fourth this year after finishing in third place last season.  Defending LEC Tournament champion UMass Dartmouth was the pre-season pick to win the conference, receiving six of the eight first-place votes and 62 points.  Defending regular season champion Rhode Island College (51 points) was picked second, receiving the other two top votes.  Western Connecticut (49) edged PSU (40) for the third spot, and the lower half of the poll included Eastern Connecticut (35), Keene State (26), UMass Boston (15) and Southern Maine (10).

            The Panther women's basketball team was picked to finish sixth this year, the same spot it was picked last season.  Keene State, which finished in a tied for third last season, was the pre-season favorite to win the conference, receiving four of the eight top votes and 58 points.  Defending LEC Tournament champion Southern Maine was right behind with three first-place votes and 56 points, and Eastern Connecticut was not far behind either, receiving one first-place vote and 53 points.  Western Connecticut  (37 points) edged Rhode Island College (35) for fourth place, with PSU (25), UMass Dartmouth (21) and UMass Boston (8) rounding out the poll.

            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: 

2009-10 LEC Men's Hoop Pre-Season Poll                    2009-10 LEC Women's Hoop Pre-Season Poll

1. UMass Dartmouth (6)                     62                             1. Keene State (4)                                  58

2. Rhode Island College (2)                51                             2. Southern Maine (3)                            56

3. Western Connecticut                      49                             3. Eastern Connecticut (1)                     53

4. Plymouth State                            40                            4.Western Connecticut                          37

5. Eastern Connecticut                       35                             5. Rhode Island College                         35

6. Keene State                                    26                             6. Plymouth State                                  25

7. UMass Boston                                15                             7. UMass Dartmouth                             21

8. Southern Maine                              10                             8. UMass Boston                                   8


(first-place votes in parentheses)                                           (first-place votes in parentheses)


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