Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Marist No. 1 in Women's Preseason Poll

College basketball season is almost here, and the MAAC got things rolling with its annual media day Tuesday afternoon at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City.

So, without further suspense, we'll pass along preseason polls and all-star teams along with personal observations.

First up, the coaches' poll to predict the order of finish for women. And ... surprise, surprise ... Marist is the unanimous No. 1 pick.

1) Marist
2) Iona
3) Loyola
4) Fairfield
- Manhattan
6) Niagara
7) Canisius
8) Siena
9) Saint Peter’s
10) Rider

SOME THOUGHTS: Despite having lost all-everything forward Rachele Fitz to graduation, Marist is still the clear-cut No. 1, and for good reason. Its backcourt players Erica Allenspach and Corielle Yard are both first-team preseason selections, and Allenspach is the preseason choice as Player of the Year.

Iona is a unanimous choice for second, garnering all 10 second-place votes. After that, there’s a clear delineation in the coaches’ mind. The Gaels got 90 points in voting (9 points for all 10 second-place votes), while third pick Loyola is next with 70 points.

It seems league coaches figure the league is pretty tightly packed from No. 3 to No. 8, whiuch should make for some interesting end-of-season jockeying for position as teams seek to avoid the play-in round of games for those finishing seventh through 10th.

Teams that could surprise? Your blogger’s favorites for programs that could finish higher than predicted are Niagara and Siena.

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