SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Eastern Nazarene College has been voted as the favorite to win the 2014-15 Commonwealth Coast Conference men's basketball championship after receiving three first place votes for a total of 87 points in the CCC preseason poll Just a season ago, the Lions finished second in the CCC with an overall record of 19-6, 13-5 in conference play. Gordon College, the 2013-14 CCC champions, earned second with 84 points and two first-place votes, while Endicott College claimed third with 80 points and two first place votes. Salve Regina University was selected fourth after receiving 77 points and three first place votes to round out the top four selections. Wentworth Institute of Technology, which finished seventh a season ago and upset Eastern Nazarene in the CCC Quarterfinals, was picked to finish seventh.
Voting for the preseason poll was conducted among the league's head men's basketball coaches.
Three conference teams from the 2013-14 campaign competed in postseason play, including Gordon, which earned the CCC's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. In the first round, the Fighting Scots defeated Babson 76-68 earning the school's first national tournament win. Unfortunately in the second round Gordon was eliminated 81-63 to NCAA Tournament runner-up Williams College 81-63.
Wentworth returns seven players from last year's squad which finished 12-15 Second-year head coach Arlen Galloway will rely on a mix of veterans and newcomers to make a run at a post-season berth. Three seniors lead the way for the Leopards in Ray Bessette, who averaged 8.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game last season; Nico Donato, who averaged 6.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.7 steals per game a year ago; and John-Michael Fragnoli, who averaged 6.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game.
The Leopards open the 2014-15 season on Saturday night (November 15) against Emerson at Emmanuel College.
2014-15 CCC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches' Poll
|Team||Points (First Place Votes)|
|1.||Eastern Nazarene||87 (3)|
|4.||Salve Regina||77 (3)|
|9.||Western New England||22|
|10.||University of New England||18|