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Men's Basketball Picked to Finish Fifth in CCC Poll

Men's Basketball Picked to Finish Fifth in CCC Poll

CCC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll Video

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Two-time defending Commonwealth Coast Conference Men's Basketball Champion, Endicott College, has been picked to finish first in the CCC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll, which was released Thursday afternoon by the conference office.

The Gulls wear the near-unanimous choice to repeat as Endicott picked up nine of a possible 10 first-place votes for 99 points. The poll was voted on by the conference's 10 head coaches.

Gordon was picked to finish second with 80 points while Nichols garnered the other first-place vote and was selected to finish third with 77 points.

Roger Williams, which Endicott defeated in the CCC title game, was picked to finish fourth with 71 points while Wentworth was chosen to finish fifth with 62 points.

The bottom half of the ledger included Western New England (53 points), the University of New England (47), Eastern Nazarene (26), Salve Regina (22), and Curry (13) in that order.

A season ago the Leopards established a program record for conference victories (13) and posted a second-place finish for the first time since the 2010-11 campaign. With nine players returning from that team, the Leopards look to continue their recent success and be in contention for the CCC title. Leading the way is junior Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.), a First Team All-CCC selection a season ago who averaged 17.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. Junior Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.) returns after averaging 6.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game as a sophomore while senior Dan DeVaux (Wethersfield, Conn.) came off the bench to average 6.4 points and 2.3 rebounds per game last season.

Juniors Cesar Fulcar (Watertown, Mass.) and Ben Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) both return for the Leopards. Fulcar averaged 5.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game while Kizel averaged 5.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per contest. Fourth-year head coach Arlen Galloway's squad will also be bolstered by a deep recruiting class.

The men's basketball season tips off on Tuesday, Nov. 15 with nine of the 10 teams in non-conference action. The conference schedule begins on Nov. 30. The top eight teams in the conference standings will qualify for the CCC Men's Basketball Championship Tournament, which begins with the quarterfinal round on Tuesday, Feb. 21 and concludes with the Championship game on Saturday, Feb. 25. The CCC Tournament Champion will earn the league's automatic qualifier into the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.

Wentworth will open its season on Tuesday, Nov. 15, against Emerson in the 2016 Coaches vs Cancer Greater Boston Shootout, played at Tansey Gymnasium.