SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Western New England University men's basketball team has been picked fifth in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Preseason Coaches' Poll, the league office announced on Friday.
The Golden Bears received 51 points in the poll, which is voted on by all nine head coaches in the league. Defending CCC champion Nichols was selected as the preseason favorite with six first-place votes and 77 total points, while Endicott placed second with two first-place votes and 74 points. Gordon and Roger Williams tied for third place, with the Fighting Scots receiving the final first-place tally.
Following Western New England, Wentworth checked in at No. 6 with 37 points, Salve Regina and the University of New England tied for seventh with 24 points, and Curry finished ninth with ten points.
Western New England is looking to build on a strong finish to the 2018-19 season that saw the Golden Bears win seven of their final ten contests, including a road victory over Endicott in the opening round of the CCC Tournament.
Head coach Colin Tabb begins his fifth season at the helm of the Western New England men's basketball program in 2019-20. Despite losing three-time All-CCC selection Mikey Pettway to graduation, Tabb brings back 13 student-athletes from last year's roster. The Golden Bears will be led by senior guard Mike McGuire (Garden City, N.Y.), who ranks in the top-five in program history in three-point field goals, three-point field goal percentage, and free throw shooting percentage.
McGuire, who averaged 12.8 points and 2.9 assists per game a season ago, will serve as team co-captain along with senior guard Tim Reilly (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.). Junior guard Alex Sikorski (Rocky Hill, Conn.) and junior forward Zach Tavitian (Milford, Conn.), the 2017-18 CCC Rookie of the Year, will also play key roles for the Golden Bears.
Western New England opens its 2019-20 campaign on the road at crosstown rival Springfield College on Friday, November 8. The Golden Bears then return to the AHLC for their next four games, including the home opener against Becker on Tuesday, November 12. CCC play gets underway on Saturday, November 30 when Western New England hosts Roger Williams.