Link: GNAC Poll Release
WINTHROP, Mass. – After winning its seventh Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship in the past 10 years, the Albertus Magnus College men's basketball team was picked first in the 2019-20 GNAC Preseason Poll, as voted upon by the league's head coaches.
The Falcons received eight of the 12 possible first-place votes to secure 139 total points, 10 better than second-place the University of Saint Joseph (Conn.). Albertus and USJ met in the GNAC Championship last season, where 13th-year head coach Mitch Oliver handed his in-state rival an 81-77 defeat for his seventh league title. Over the past 11 seasons, the Falcons have been picked as preseason favorites a whopping nine times.
Last year, the Falcons finished with a 20-8 overall record and an appearance in the First Round of the 2019 Division III NCAA Tournament. Albertus returns its top-four scorers from a year ago, which includes leading scorer Tyreek Perkins (New Haven, Conn.) and his 12.9 points-per-game average. Jahmerikah Green-Younger (Norwalk, Conn.) and Davon Warner (New Haven, Conn.) round out the team's top-three scorers with 12.6 and 12.2 points per game, respectively.
After a successful inaugural campaign, when they finished seventh in the regular-season standings before making a run in the league tournament, the Blue Jays took home 129 total points and three first-place votes to place second on the rankings. Johnson & Wales University rounded out the top three with 117 points. Suffolk University received the final first-place vote and finished fourth in the poll with 111 points.
The fifth spot on the list belonged to Emmanuel College, who took home 96 points. Saint Joseph's College of Maine was placed in sixth with 82 points, just edging Colby-Sawyer College (76) in seventh.
Lasell University (61) and Regis College (52) appeared next in the rankings in eighth and ninth place, respectively. The Lasers and Pride fought it out last season for the final playoff spot, with Lasell making the tournament.
The final three teams to appear on the list were Anna Maria College, Norwich University, and Rivier University with 31, 26 and 16 points, respectively.
Albertus Magnus men's basketball begins its quest for a ninth GNAC Championship against the University of Lynchburg on Friday, Nov. 8, at the MMI Tip-Off Tournament, hosted by Hood College. The Falcons will kick off GNAC play on Saturday, Jan. 18, against Colby-Sawyer at "The Nest".
The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 22 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience.
2019 GNAC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll
1. Albertus Magnus (8) – 139
2. Saint Joseph CT (3) – 129
3. Johnson & Wales – 117
4. Suffolk (1) – 111
5. Emmanuel – 96
6. Saint Joseph's Maine – 82
7. Colby-Sawyer – 76
8. Lasell – 61
9. Regis – 52
10. Anna Maria - 31
11. Norwich – 26
12. Rivier - 16