Brooklyn, N.Y. (October 25, 2017)—Mount St. Mary's University, the defending Northeast Conference (NEC) men's basketball champions, have been selected to finish fourth in the annual NEC Preseason Coaches Poll, announced today at NEC Social Media Day held at Barclays Center. Junior Robinson (Mebane, N.C.), a senior guard, has been selected to the Preseason All-NEC team.
Saint Francis U was tabbed as the preseason favorite, followed by Fairleigh Dickinson, Wagner, the Mount, Sacred Heart, LIU Brooklyn, Robert Morris, Bryant, Central Connecticut and St. Francis Brooklyn.
It will be a new-look Mountaineer squad for head coach Jamion Christian, the 2017 NEC Jim Phelan Coach of the Year. Seniors Robinson, Greg Alexander (Hampton, Va.) and Chris Wray (Shelby, N.C.) along with sophomore Ryan Gomes (Westminster, Md.) will be joined by a group of 12 freshmen to comprise this season's roster.
Mount St. Mary's, picked fourth in last year's NEC Preseason poll, posted a 20-16 overall record and a 14-4 mark in league play last season, capturing both the NEC regular season and tournament championships. The Mount defeated Saint Francis U, 71-61, before a raucous sellout crowd at Knott Arena in the NEC Championship game. The Mountaineers then clipped New Orleans, 67-66, behind Robinson's 23-point effort, in the NCAA First Four held in Dayton, Ohio. The Mount then led for the nearly the entire first half of play, but a strong second half from Villanova pushed the top-seeded Wildcats past the Mount, 76-56, in the NCAA First Round two days later in Buffalo, N.Y.
Joining Robinson on the Preseason All-NEC team are Darian Anderson (Fairleigh Dickinson), Isaiah Blackmon (Saint Francis U), Keith Braxton (Saint Francis U) and Joseph Lopez (Sacred Heart).
Robinson averaged 14.1 points and 2.9 assists per game in earning Second Team All-NEC honors last year. A two-time Second Team All-NEC selection, Robinson was named to the NEC All-Tournament team after averaging 20.7 points in the three victories last year. The exciting 5-5 guard was 70-for-176 (.398) from three-point range and shot 86.8 percent (118-for-136) at the foul line as a junior.
The Mountaineers have a pair of exhibition games before starting the regular season. The Mount, the NEC's leader in attendance in each of the past two years, will host Delaware in a charity exhibition game at Knott Arena on Wednesday, November 1, at 7:30 p.m. (pending NCAA approval) and Hood College on Saturday, November 4, with a 4:00 p.m. tip-off.
The Mount opens the 2017-18 season at Marquette on Friday, November 10, at 9:00 p.m. The home opener is slated for Tuesday, November 21, against York College.
For season ticket information, please contact the Mount St. Mary's Ticket Office at 301-447-5700.
2017-18 NEC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll
1. Saint Francis U (9)
2. Fairleigh Dickinson (1)
4. Mount St. Mary's
5. Sacred Heart
6. LIU Brooklyn
7. Robert Morris
9. Central Connecticut
10. St. Francis Brooklyn
2017-18 NEC Men's Basketball Preseason All-NEC Team
Darian Anderson, FDU, Sr, G, 6-1, 182 lbs., Washington, D.C./St. John's College
Isaiah Blackmon, SFU, Jr, G, 6-1, 170 lbs., Charlotte, NC/West Charlotte
Keith Braxton, SFU, So, G, 6-4, 208 lbs., Glassboro, NJ/The Lawrenceville School
Joseph Lopez, SHU, Sr, F, 6-7, 220 lbs., Miami, FL/South Miami Senior (Broward College)
Junior Robinson, MSM, Sr, G, 5-5, 150 lbs., Mebane, NC/Eastern Alamance