Feb. 16, 2011

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Army edges Bucknell in Patriot preseason poll


Defending regular-season champion Army edged tourney champ Bucknell for the top spot in the Patriot League preseason poll, in voting by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors as released by the conference office.


The Black Knights picked up six first-place votes and 45 points, two more points than the Bison, which got five first-place votes. Holy Cross got the final first-place vote and finished third, followed by Lehigh, Navy and Lafayette.


Army posted a 16-4 mark in conference play to win at least a share of the regular-season crown for the third consecutive season. The Black Knights return all eight positional starters, including award-winning seniors Kevin McKague (pictured above), Clint Moore, Ben Koenigsfield and Joey Henshaw.


Under head coach Gene Depew, Bucknell won the Patriot League Tournament a season ago as the No. 4 seed, their second title in the past three years. Tourney MVP Doug Shribman returns to lead the offense.


Three teams start the 2011 campaign this weekend, as Bucknell plays four at James Madison, Navy goes to Presbyterian for three, and Army travels to Davidson to take on the Wildcats as well as Georgetown and Radford. Holy Cross, Lafayette and Lehigh kick off their seasons next weekend. Conference play begins on April 2. The top four teams qualify for the Patriot League Tournament, with the semifinal best-of-three series on May 14-15 and the championship best-of-three series on May 21-22.


Patriot League Preseason Poll

Team, Points (First Place) (2010 Patriot, overall record)

1. Army, 45 (6) (16-4, 28-17)

2. Bucknell, 43 (5) (8-12, 25-35)

3. Holy Cross, 36 (1) (10-10, 26-26)

4. Lehigh, 23 (12-8, 23-27)

5. Navy, 21 (7-13, 30-21)

6. Lafayette, 12 (7-13, 15-30)


(photo courtesy of Army Media Relations Office)