CAC - Christopher Newport was tabbed as the preseason favorite in the 2019-20 Capital Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Coaches' Poll. The Captains received five first-places votes and totaled 25 points to land atop the preseason rankings in a vote among the conference head coaches.
York edged out Mary Washington for second place in the rankings as the Spartans compiled 20 points to place second, with the Eagles just behind in third with 16 points.
Salisbury took fourth place with 14 points and the remaining first-place vote, followed by St. Mary's in fifth with 10 points. Southern Virginia rounded out the preseason rankings with five points.
The 2019-20 season begins on Friday, Nov. 8 with four conference teams in action. The CAC postseason is set to begin on Feb. 22, with the title game slated for Feb. 29.
2019-20 CAC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll
Points (First-Place Votes)
|1.||Christopher Newport||25 (5)|
|5.||St. Mary's (Md.)||10|
Below is a brief preview of each team entering the 2019-20 campaign:
Following the second Final Four appearance in four years, the CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT men's basketball team finished the season ranked No. 3 in the nation. It was the highest national ranking ever for the Captains in the final poll following a 29-4 overall record. Despite graduating All-American Marcus Carter alongside starting point guard Tyler Femi, the Captains will have high expectations heading into 2019-20. Senior guard Luther Gibbs will return after a season-ending injury last year while a heavy senior class will anchor a veteran group hungry to carry on the recent success of the program. Junior Jason Aigner was a second team All-Conference and All-State selection last season after setting a program record for three-pointers made in a season with 117. He averaged 15.2 points per game and shot nearly 44% from beyond the arc.
The YORK men's basketball squad enters the season needing to replace two starters including the CAC Player of the Year Jason Bady. Fortunately for York, the Spartans return four seniors who have played significant minutes during their Spartan careers. Senior guard Jared Wagner is York's lone returning All-CAC player as he was a second team selection. Wagner will be joined by fellow seniors Darin Wagner, Joe Polczynski and Zach Novick while junior David Giuliani will also be a key part of the Spartan rotation. The Spartans have a large group of sophomores and freshmen who will be asked to step up and become parts of the rotation.
Returning Starters: Jared Wagner, Joe Polczynski, Darin Gordon
Notable Statistics: Jared Wagner led the CAC in assists (129) and steals (78) while he was eighth in points per game (14.9) and fifth in free throws per game (3.7-for-4.9)
Returning All-CAC: Jared Wagner (Senior, Guard)
The UNIVERSITY OF MARY WASHINGTON will look to build off their 18-9 record from last season. The Eagles bring back key players to their rotation that will look to spark them into the NCAA tournament this season. The most notable returner is 2019 CAC Rookie of the Year, Greg Rowson. Rowson led the team with 16.2 PPG, while also hauling in 5.2 RPG. 2018 CAC Rookie of the Year, Drew Johnson is also back for the Eagles and will play a big role. Sophomore Da'Shawn Cook will handle the ball at point and be a key cog in the lineup.
Number of returning starters: 3
Notable statistics: Riley Welch led the CAC in Three-Point Field Goal Percentage at 50.0%
The SALISBURY men's basketball team will have a fresh new look for the 2019-20 with new Head Coach Maurice Williams at the helm. Ten new faces, including four freshman, will join a handful of returning players from last year's squad. Of those returners, seniors Lucas Martin and J.P. Krotoulis, and juniors Mike Ward, Gary Briddell and Johnny Fierstein all played significant minutes throughout the 2018-10 season and will look to become the next wave of leaders for the young Sea Gulls.
Returning Starters: #5 Gary Briddell, #13 J.P. Krotoulis, #21 Lucas Martin, #22 Johnny Fierstein
All-Conference: #12 Mike Ward (2nd Team 2018-19)
The ST. MARY'S COLLEGE OF MARYLAND men's basketball team will feature 18 total players on this year's squad. The Seahawks roster will have a new look this year as they return seven student-athletes and bring in 11 new players.
Head Coach Adam Wardenburg begins his tenure at the head of the SOUTHERN VIRGINIA men's basketball program. The Knights lose two of their top four scorers heading into the 2019-20 season. Southern Virginia returns a strong core with All-CAC Second Teamer and the team's leading scorer (13.9 ppg) Jamier Cross. Trey Dill returns to the Knights following a solid freshman campaign leading the team on the boards with 7.5 rebounds per game. Sharpshooting senior Sam Armstrong also returns to Southern Virginia after shooting nearly 40 percent from deep for his third consecutive season. The Knights will rely on their newcomers to provide an immediate impact early and throughout the season.
Number of Returners: 2 Full-Time
Returning All-CAC Performers: Jamier Cross, Guard, All-CAC Second Team