Feb. 16, 2011

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CCSU is coaches’ pick in Northeast Conference


Defending champion Central Connecticut State claimed the top spot in the Northeast Conference preseason poll, in voting by the league’s head coaches and released by the conference office.


The Blue Devils picked up two first-place votes and the highest point total. CCSU finished third a season ago during the regular-season and won the NEC Championship as the No. 2 seed.


Monmouth garnered four first-place votes and came in second. Bryant, last year’s regular-season champ, got three first-place votes to finish third. The Bulldogs, under new head coach Steve Owens, must wait until 2013 to be eligible for postseason play as they complete the NCAA reclassification process.


Wagner was fourth, followed by Sacred Heart, Mount St. Mary’s, Quinnipiac, Long Island and Fairleigh Dickinson.


Bryant plays a three-game series at Oklahoma State this weekend to start the 2011 campaign. FDU, LIU, Monmouth, Sacred Heart and Wagner each begin on Friday, Feb. 25, while the remaining three teams start their seasons in March. The NEC Championship will begin on May 19 in Norwich, Conn., as the top four teams compete in a double-elimination event.


Northeast Conference Preseason Poll

Team (First Place) (2010 NEC, overall record)

1. Central Connecticut State (2) (18-14, 33-23)

2. Monmouth (4) (15-17, 22-27)

3. Bryant (3) (25-7, 34-22)

4. Wagner (17-15, 26-31)

5. Sacred Heart (20-12, 31-27)

6. Mount St. Mary’s (14-18, 20-31)

7. Quinnipiac (13-19, 14-39)

8. Long Island (11-21, 14-42)

9. Fairleigh Dickinson (11-21, 16-38)