The preseason poll was released for the Patriot League. BU projected 5th with Max Mahoney on the preseason 1st team all conference.
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Defending Patriot League champion Colgate topped the preseason poll when the League office announced preseason men’s basketball honors on Wednesday. American senior guard Sa’eed Nelson was also selected as the Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year for the second-consecutive season.
All five of the Preseason All-Patriot League Men’s Basketball selections made the 2018-19 All-League squad. Nelson, defending player of the year, along with Colgate senior forward Rapolas Ivanauskas and Loyola Maryland senior guard Andrew Kostecka were all first-team All-League honorees last season. Boston University senior forward Max Mahoney and Colgate junior guard Jordan Burns were voted onto the 2018-19 All-Patriot League Second Team.
The Raiders received 162 points and 18 first-place votes to capture the top spot in the preseason poll with 2018-19 runner-up Bucknell finishing second with 130 points. American placed third with 126 points and the two remaining first-place votes with Loyola Maryland (98) and Boston University (97) rounding out the top five.
Voting for the preseason poll, player of the year and five-member All-Patriot League team was completed by the Patriot League men’s basketball coaches and sports information directors. They cannot vote for their own team or student-athletes.
2019-20 Patriot League Men’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year
Sa’eed Nelson, American, Sr., G Pleasantville, N.J./Saint Augustine Prep
*Nelson ranks among the Patriot League’s top-30 in career points (23rd, 1,580), assists (26th, 384) and steals (9th, 195) entering his final season in Washington, D.C.
*The two-time All-Patriot League selection placed among the League leaders in points (19.8 ppg), assists (5.2 apg) and steals (2.4 spg) during the 2018-19 season to lead the Eagles’ to a fourth-place regular-season finish.
*The Pleasantville, N.J. native led all Patriot League guards with 5.6 rebounds per game during the 2018-19 season.
2019-20 Men’s Basketball Preseason All-Patriot League Team (listed alphabetically by school name)
Sa’eed Nelson, American, Sr., G, Pleasantville, N.J./Saint Augustine Prep
*2018-19 Stats: 30 GP, 30 GS, 19.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 5.2 apg, 2.4 spg, .509 FG%
*Career Honors: 2018-19 All-Patriot League First Team; 2017-18 All-Patriot League First Team; 2016-17 Patriot League All-Rookie Team
Max Mahoney, Boston University, Sr., F, Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge
*2018-19 Stats: 32 GP, 32 GS, 16.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.7 apg, .629 FG%
*Career Honors: 2018-19 All-Patriot League Second Team; 2017-18 All-Patriot League Third Team
Jordan Burns, Colgate, Jr., G, San Antonio, Texas/John Marshall
*2018-19 Stats: 30 GP, 30 GS, 16.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.7 apg, 1.2 spg, .394 3FG%, .821 FT%
*Career Honors: 2018-19 Patriot League Tournament MVP; 2018-19 All-Patriot League Second Team; 2017-18 Patriot League All-Rookie Team
Rapolas Ivanauskas, Colgate, Sr., F, Barrington, Ill./Brewster Academy (Northwestern)
*2018-19 Stats: 35 GP, 35 GS, 15.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.6 apg, .518 FG%, .434 3FG%, .777 FT%
*Career Honors: 2018-19 Patriot League Player of the Year; 2018-19 All-Patriot League First Team; 2018-19 All-American Honorable Mention
Andrew Kostecka, Loyola Maryland, Sr., G, Germantown, Md./Clarksburg
*2018-19 Stats: 32 GP, 32 GS, 21.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.4 apg, 2.7 spg, 0.9 bpg, .523 FG%, .381 3FG%, .812 FT%
*Career Honors: 2018-19 All-Patriot League First Team; 2018-19 Patriot League All-Defensive Team; 2017-18 Patriot League All-Defensive Team
2019-20 Patriot League Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll
1. Colgate, 162 points (18 first-place votes)
2. Bucknell, 130
3. American, 126 (2)
4. Loyola Maryland, 98
5. Boston University, 97
6. Army West Point, 86
7. Lehigh, 84
8. Lafayette, 55
9. Navy, 41
10. Holy Cross, 21
Colgate (24-11, 13-5 in ‘18-19) – Two-time defending Patriot League Coach of the Year Matt Langel welcomes back four starters, including defending Patriot League Player of the Year Rapolas Ivanauskas (15.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg, .434 3pt%), Patriot League Tournament MVP Jordan Burns (16.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 5.7 apg), two-time All-League and 2018-19 All-Defensive Team selection Will Rayman (13.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, .429 3pt%) and Patriot League Rookie of the Year Tucker Richardson (8.1 ppg, 3.8 apg). The Raiders were nearly unbeatable at Cotterell Court, going 15-1 at home last season. They clicked in the second half of the season, winning its last 11 games before falling to Tennessee (77-70) in the NCAA Tournament. Beyond its returning starters junior guard Jack Ferguson (7.2 ppg), who played in all 35 games last season and connected on 40.9 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc, and junior guard Nelly Cummings, a transfer from Bowling Green will help ease the graduation losses of Francisco Amiel, Dana Batt and Malcolm Regisford.
Bucknell (21-12, 13-5 in ’18-19) – Head Coach Nathan Davis has taken the Bison to the Patriot League Championship Game in three-straight seasons, winning in 2017 and 2018 before falling last season. The fifth-year head coach will also be tasked with replacing All-League student-athletes Kimbal Mackenzie and Nate Sestina. Bucknell will return sophomore guard Jimmy Sotos (8.2 ppg, 6.1 apg), the Patriot League’s assists leader, along with multi-year starting seniors Bruce Moore, a 2018-19 Patriot League All-Defensive Team selection, and Avi Toomer. Moore is the team’s leading returning scorer (9.6 ppg) with Toomer chipping in 8.7 ppg last season. Junior center Paul Newman finished among the League leaders with 37 blocked shots while junior forward John Meeks (5.7 ppg) and sophomore guard Andrew Funk (4.7 ppg) both averaged double-digit minutes per game last season.
American (15-15, 9-9 in ’18-19) – Head Coach Mike Brennan begins his seventh season at the helm of the American men’s basketball program with his starting backcourt returning intact. Two-time All-League senior point guard Sa’eed Nelson (19.8 ppg, 5.2 apg, 2.4 spg) and junior guard Stacy Beckton Jr., who finished among the League leaders in steals (1.4 spg) and blocked shots (1.2 bpg) will make life difficult for opposing perimeter offensive players. Senior center Mark Gasperini is also back in the fold after averaging 10.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Junior guard Marvin Bragg and sophomores Josh Alexander and Jacob Boonyasith all return after averaging double-digit minutes in 2018-19 along with junior guard Jamir Harris, who sat out last season after transferring from Minnesota.
Loyola Maryland (11-21, 7-11 in ’18-19) – In Head Coach Tavaras Hardy’s first season in Baltimore, senior guard Andrew Kostecka broke out in 2018-19 to earn First Team All-Patriot League and All-Defensive Team honors while leading the League in scoring (21.3 ppg) and steals (2.7 spg). Hardy welcomes back Kostecka along with four more players with starting experience, including senior guard Chuck Champion (10.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg), junior guard Isaiah Hart (10.1 ppg, 3.0 apg, 1.1 spg), junior forward KaVaughn Scott (7.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and sophomore guard Jaylin Andrews (6.6 ppg, 2.7 rpg). Junior Brent Holcombe returns from injury and sophomores Casmir Ochiaka and Kenneth Jones gained experience during their first year. The Greyhounds will also welcome a talented freshmen class that includes Santi Aldama, who was named the MVP of the FIBA U-18 European Championships this summer, along with Golden Dike who was also a part of Spain’s gold medal team.
Boston University (15-18, 7-11 in ’18-19) – Head Coach Joe Jones enters his ninth season at Boston University with nine of the team’s 11 players that averaged double-digit minutes a year ago returning. Senior forward Max Mahoney leads the way after earning All-League honors for the second time by averaging 16.5 points and 6.6 rebounds while shooting an efficient .629 percent from the floor. Junior guard Javante McCoy averaged 12.1 points during the regular season and 25.0 points during last season’s Patriot League Tournament. Sophomore guard Alex Vilarino (6.8 ppg) and junior center Sukhmail Mathon (3.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg) are both back after starting more than 20 games last season. Jones will also get sophomore forward Walter Whyte back, after he missed the 2018-19 season due to injury, after earning Patriot League All-Rookie honors in 2017-18 (9.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg).
Army West Point (13-19, 8-10 in ’18-19) – Head Coach Jimmy Allen begins his fourth season at West Point with three returning starters, including his top two scorers from a year ago. Senior guard Tommy Funk (12.6 ppg, 5.9 apg), a 2018-19 Third Team All-Patriot League selection, is back after becoming the eighth student-athlete in League history to accumulate more than 1,000 career points and 500 career assists. Senior forward Matt Wilson led the Black Knights in scoring (13.8 ppg) and led Patriot League with 8.6 rebounds per game while junior forward Alex King added 7.1 points and 3.1 rebounds per game. Junior guard Lonnie Grayson is also back for the Black Knights after averaging 7.6 points per game off the bench last season.
Lehigh (20-11, 12-6 in ’18-19) – Head Coach Brett Reed will begin his 13th season in Bethlehem with a significantly different team that last year’s squad that led NCAA DI in 3-point field goal percentage (.423). All-League guards Lance Tejada and Kyle Leufroy both graduated, but fellow All-League honoree Jordan Cohen is back to lead the group after posting career highs in points (13.6 ppg), rebounds (3.9 rpg) and assists (3.6 apg) while finishing second in the League with a .475 3-point shooting percentage. Junior center James Karnik (9.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg) is also back after starting all 31 games last season. Junior guard Marques Wilson (4.1 ppg) and sophomores Jeameril Wilson (4.8 ppg) and Nic Lynch (3.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg) also return for the Mountain Hawks after receiving rotation minutes last season.
Lafayette (10-20, 7-11 in ’18-19) – Head Coach Fran O’Hanlon’s 25th Lafayette squad will be stocked in the backcourt with returning All-League junior guard Justin Jaworski (14.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.7 apg), who led the Patriot League and was among the nation’s best with a .489 3-point shooting percentage. Junior guard Alex Petrie, the 2018 Patriot League Rookie of the Year, is also back after averaging 14.5 points per game (.399 3pt%). Senior guard Kyle Stout (5.0 ppg), junior guard E.J. Stephens (7.1 ppg) and sophomores Isaac Suffren (6.0 ppg) and Tyrone Perry (3.0 ppg) all started games last season. In the frontcourt senior forward Lukas Jarrett (6.7 ppg) is the League’s returning leader in blocked shots (1.7 bpg) while senior forward Myles Cherry (5.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and junior forward Dylan Hastings (2.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg).
Navy (12-19, 8-10 in ’18-19) – Head Coach Ed DeChellis begins his ninth campaign at Navy with three of the team’s top five scorers back from 2018-19. Despite the graduation of All-League guard Hasan Abdullah and leading scorer George Kiernan, the Midshipmen welcome back junior guard Cam Davis (9.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg), senior center Evan Wieck (8.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and sophomore guard John Carter Jr. (8.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg). Junior forward Luke Loehr (4.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg) and sophomore Greg Summers (3.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg) are also back after averaging double-digit minutes per game last season.
Holy Cross (16-17, 6-12 in ’18-19) – Head Coach Brett Nelson begins his career in Worcester looking to replace two-time Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year Jehyve Floyd and a host of other starters from a team that advanced to the Patriot League Quarterfinals last season. Junior guard Austin Butler (12.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg) started each of the Crusaders 33 games last season. Junior forward Matt Faw (6.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg) played in 32 games with 20 starts for last season’s Holy Cross squad. Junior forward Connor Niego is back after averaging 5.0 points per game while shooting .429 from beyond the arc through the Crusaders’ first 10 games.