Golden Bears open 2016-17 campaign next Tuesday against Springfield
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (November 10, 2016) – The Western New England University men's basketball team has been picked to finish sixth in the 2016 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Preseason Coaches' Poll, which was released today by the league office.
Western New England collected 53 points on its way to sixth place in the poll, which is voted on by all ten head coaches in the CCC. Defending conference champion Endicott garnered nine of the ten first place votes and was selected to repeat with 99 points, while Gordon placed second with 80 points and Nichols checked in at No. 3 with the final first place vote and 77 points. Roger Williams (71 points) and Wentworth (62) finished ahead of the Golden Bears in fourth and fifth, respectively. The University of New England (47), Eastern Nazarene (26), Salve Regina (22) and Curry (13) claimed the last four spots in the poll.
Western New England returns its top three scorers from a team that reached the CCC Tournament under first year head coach Colin Tabb last season. Sophomore guard Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) averaged a team-leading 14.7 points and 4.3 assists per game during his first year with the program in 2015-16, earning CCC Rookie of the Week honors on four occasions.
Senior guard Mike Gelineau (Waltham, Mass.), a 2014-15 All-CCC second team selection, will help carry the load on offense, while graduate guard Luis Agrait (South Hadley, Mass.) is back for one more season after contributing 8.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game last year. Freshmen Mayo Aina (Providence, R.I.), Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.) and Mike McCourt (Lincoln, R.I.) headline a group of ten newcomers for the Golden Bears.
Western New England opens its 2016-17 campaign at home on November 15 with a non-conference matchup against crossrown rival Springfield College at the Alumni Healthful Living Center. The Golden Bears will be on the road the following weekend with two games at Wesleyan University's Herb Kenny Tip-Off, before taking on NCAA Division I program Boston University on November 22.