STANDISH, ME - The 2012-13 GNAC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll has been released and Saint Joseph's College has been picked to finish second according to a vote of conference head coaches.
After capturing the 2012 Great Northeast Athletic Conference men's basketball championship and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament a year ago, the Albertus Magnus College men's basketball team has once again been picked as the pre-season favorite in the 2012-13 GNAC Pre-Season Coaches' Poll. The Falcons received 10 first place votes and 100 total points while Saint Joseph's College was not far behind with 85 points in front of the 2012 GNAC runner-up, Anna Maria College, which finished in third with 80 points.
The Falcons enjoyed one of the greatest seasons in GNAC history, compiling a 28-2 overall record including a perfect 18-0 mark in conference action. Albertus welcomes back junior guard Darius Watson (New Britain, Conn.), who averaged 19.1 PPG as a rookie and was named to the GNAC First Team last year. Head coach Mitch Oliver will lead the Falcons to another title-quest after being named the 2012 GNAC Coach of the Year.
Saint Joseph's College earned the No. 2 spot in the poll after posting an 18-9 overall record a year ago. The Monks, who lost their two leading scorers - Chris Petzy and Zach O'Brien - to graduation, welcome a strong incoming class while returning junior guard Matthew Medeiros (Westport, Mass.), who ranked third on the team in points last year (11.5 PPG).
Anna Maria's late-season surge in the 2012 GNAC tournament earned them the No. 3 spot in the pre-season poll with 80 points. The AMCATS return senior guard Anthony Click (Springfield, Mass.) and post-grad Brad Peterson (North Kingston, R.I.), who together averaged 32.5 PPG last year.
Emerson College finished the poll in the No. 4 spot with 62 points as second-year head coach Jim O'Brien is able to welcome his first true recruiting class. O'Brien brings in nine freshmen and hopes to build off the late season push last year in which the Lions won six games over the final weeks of the season to secure a spot in the GNAC tournament.
Rounding out the top five in the poll, Emmanuel College registered 59 points after the Saints compiled an 11-7 record in conference play last year. Emmanuel returns junior forward Theo Robinson (Springfield, Mass.), a 2012 All-GNAC Third Team member, as well as strong senior leadership.
Suffolk University placed sixth overall in the poll with 56 points while Lasell College finished seventh with 54 points, despite receiving one first place vote. Johnson & Wales University, which lost the 2012 GNAC leading scorer in Lamonte Thomas to graduation, finished in the No. 8 spot with 35 points, right in front of Rivier University, which was No. 9 with 33 points.
Norwich University rounded out the top 10 in the poll with 22 points while Mount Ida College finished in the 11th spot with 18 total points.
|2012-13 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Men's Basketball|
|Pre-Season Coaches' Poll|
|Rank||Institution||First Place||Total Points|
|1||Albertus Magnus College||10||100|
|2||Saint Joseph's College||85|
|3||Anna Maria College||80|
|8||Johnson & Wales University||35|
|11||Mount Ida College||18|
COURTESY OF GNAC SPORTS INFORMATION OFFICE
The Great Northeast Athletic Conference is an NCAA Division III conference made up of 13 institutions with nine associate members. In 2012-13, the GNAC will sponsor championships in 17 sports for men and women. The GNAC also enjoys outstanding professional partnerships with Children's Hospital Sports Medicine Division, Doubletree Hotels, Fenway Printers, New Balance, Reading Trophy and Presto Sports.