Seahawk Men's Basketball Picked Fifth in CAC Preseason Poll

Seahawk Men's Basketball Picked Fifth in CAC Preseason Poll

For Immediate Release · By Nairem Moran · nmoran@smcm.edu

Fredericksburg, Va. – St. Mary's College of Maryland found itself ranked fifth in the 2017-18 Capital Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll as published by Assistant Commissioner Tim Mowrer Tuesday morning.

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Two-time defending CAC champion, Christopher Newport University, edged York College of Pennsylvania by one point for the top spot in this year's conference preseason coaches poll. The Captains tallied six first-place votes and 77 points to edge York (76 points, 4 first-place votes) by the narrowest of margins in a vote among the conference head coaches.

The University of Mary Washington and Salisbury University tied for third place in the voting with 57 points apiece, with St. Mary's (47) and Wesley (41) rounding out the projected playoff teams in fifth and sixth place, respectively. Marymount (Va.) University was close behind Wesley College in seventh place with 38 points, followed by Penn State Harrisburg (27), Southern Virginia University (16), and Frostburg State University (14).

The 2017-18 season begins tomorrow with eight league teams in non-conference action, including St. Mary's welcoming Gallaudet University to the Michael P. O'Brien Athletics & Recreation Center Arena for a 6:00 p.m. tip-off. The 2018 CAC Men's Basketball Championship Tournament begins Tuesday, February 20 with first-round action and ends Saturday, February 24 with the crowning of the conference champion.

2017-18 CAC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Christopher Newport (6 first-place votes)

77 points

2. York (Pa.) (4 first-place votes)

76 points

3. Mary Washington

57 points

3. Salisbury

57 points

5. St. Mary's (Md.)

47 points

6. Wesley

41 points

7. Marymount (Va.)

38 points

8. Penn State Harrisburg

27 points

9. Southern Virginia

16 points

10. Frostburg State

14 points

St. Mary's finished the 2016-17 campaign with a 13-13 (8-10 CAC) overall record and locked up the No. 5 seed in the 2017 CAC Men's Basketball Championship Tournament.

Thirteen-year head coach Chris Harney is excited about the 2017-18 campaign as he returns an experienced group of 13 letter winners and adds six newcomers who will make their presence felt immediately. St. Mary's is poised to make a comeback to the top of the conference after finishing .500 last season. Helping to lead the charge will be sophomore guard Matt Ayoub (Fairfax, Va./W.T. Woodson), who finished second in the CAC in three-point field goal percentage, and senior guard Ochae Bynum (Waldorf, Md./North Point), who came in third in the league in assists per game.

Top Returners

  • Ochae Bynum (Sr., G) – Third in the conference with 3.0 assists per game … Eighth in the CAC with 1.5 steals per game … Ninth in the league in free throw percentage (.761) … Second on team in scoring with 11.7 points per game
  • Chris Craft, Jr. (Sr., W) – Sixth in the CAC in field goal percentage (.524) … Second on the team with 4.9 rebounds per game
  • LaVonte Sanders (Sr., W) – Ninth in the league with a team-best 6.4 rebounds per game … Fourth on the team in scoring with 9.8 points per game
  • Matt Ayoub (So., G) – Second in the conference with a team-leading .429 three-point field goal percentage … Third on the team in scoring with 10.8 points per game

Top Newcomers

  • Kyndle Terrell-Jones (Fy., G, 5-11, 175, Baltimore, Md./Dulaney) – Averaged 17.4 points, 3.0 assists, and 2.0 steals
  • Bryce Moritz (Fy., G, 6-3, 180, Hereford, Md./Hereford) – Team captain … Placed in Top 10 at Maryland state championships in high jump (5th), long jump (7th), and triple jump (8th)
  • Marquis Bullett (Fy., F, 6-7, 260, Columbia, Md./Wilde Lake) – Averaged 14 points and 12.3 rebounds
  • Judge Payne (Fy., G, 5-9, 200, Laurel, Md./Reservoir) – First team All-Howard County … Averaged 18 points and 4.0 assists
  • Spencer Schultz (So., F, 6-7, 200, Clear Spring, Md./Clear Spring) – 2016 Herald Mail Washington County Co-Player of the Year … 2016 WHAG Public School Player of the Year … Two-time First Team All-Washington County … Averaged 27.7 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.0 assists … Transfer from U.S. Military Academy (West Point)
  • Kevin Makle (Fy., F, 6-9, 280, Finksburg, Md./Randallstown) – Averaged 14.7 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, and 1.0 steals

Key Losses

  • Delaszo Smith '17 (G) – Two-time Second team All-CAC (2016 and 2017) … Finished second in the conference in free throw percentage with 84.3-percent … Ranked sixth in steals per game with a 1.5 average … Ninth in the league with 13.6 points per game … Notched 17 double-digit scoring performances, including three 20-point games

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