Westfield, Mass.— The Salem State Vikings have been selected to win the 2016-17 MASCAC Men’s Basketball title as voted on by the seven coaches around the conference.
Taking home four of the seven first place votes for 39 points and first place, the reigning MASCAC Co-Regular Season Champions finished the 2015-16 season with a 9-3 record during league play. Returning for the Vikings is All-Conference First Team honoree Marcus Faison. Last season, he finished second in the conference in points (436), field goal percentage (56.5), rebounds per game (13) while also tallying the most offensive (122) and defensive (228) rebounds in the MASCAC.
Earning the final three first place votes with 32 points is 2015-16 Co-Regular Season Champion and Tournament Champions Fitchburg State. The Falcons closed out last season with a 9-3 clip in MASCAC play. Back on the hardwood for the team is 2015-16 MASCAC Player of the Year Jaleel Bell. Bell averaged a league-best 17.3 points per game and steals with 60. He also finished with a 41.3 three-point percentage which was second best in the league, third most points at 432 and fourth best free throw percentage at 76.3.
Bridgewater State sits in the third slot with 25 points. The Bears netted a record of 8-4 during league competition last season. First Team All-Conference honoree Fawaz Mass is back for the squad after averaging 15.2 points per game while also collecting 142 rebounds, 36 assists and a 71 free throw percentage.
Landing in fourth with 21 points is Worcester State. The Lancers ended the MASCAC season last year with an 8-4 record. Paul Brooks returns to the team after earning First Team All-Conference accolades last season. He led the league in field goal percentage (59.4) and blocks (91), third in rebounds per game (9.8), offensive rebounds (111) and total rebounds (255) while also netting 327 points and 18 assists.
Westfield State grabs the fifth spot with 13 points. The Owls had four wins during league play in the 2015-16 season. Leading the Owls this season, Jesus Sanchez is back after claiming the fourth most points (422), points per game (15.6), fifth best free throw (75.5) and three-point percentage (37) last season.
Closing out the 2016-17 preseason poll are Framingham State and MCLA in sixth and seventh with 10 and seven points, respectively. The Rams netted two wins during conference action last season. Tony Alexandre returns to squad after average 12.1 points per game and tallying 226 rebounds, 30 steals and seven blocks. The Trailblazers also finished with two wins last season. Last season, Joe Wiggins netted 222 points, 83 rebounds, 21 steals and six blocks for the squad.
The 2016-17 Men’s Basketball season kicks off next week with the MASCAC teams competing in their opening non-conference contests.
2016-17 MASCAC Men's Basketball Pre-Season Coaches Poll
(First Place Votes In Parentheses)
|1.||Salem State||(4)||39 points|
|2.||Fitchburg State||(3)||32 points|
|3.||Bridgewater State||25 points|
|4.||Worcester State||21 points|
|5.||Westfield State||13 points|
|6.||Framingham State||10 points|