St. Mary's Men's Basketball Predicted Co-Leader in CAC Preseason Poll

St. Mary's Men's Basketball Predicted Co-Leader in CAC Preseason Poll

York, Pa. – For the second consecutive season, the St. Mary's College of Maryland men's basketball team finished atop of the Capital Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll. The Seahawks, however, share the No. 1 spot with Christopher Newport University.

St. Mary's and Christopher Newport both received five first-place votes on the way to 76 points (coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams).

CAC Men's Basketball Season Preview Article

2014-15 CAC Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll

1 (tie). Christopher Newport (5 first-place votes)

76 points

1 (tie). St. Mary's (Md.) (5 first-place votes)

76 points

3. Wesley

58 points

4. Salisbury

53 points

5. Marymount (Va.)

51 points

6. Mary Washington

47 points

7. York (Pa.)

32 points

8. Penn State Harrisburg

28 points

9. Southern Virginia

18 points

10. Frostburg State

11 points

It's a tight race for the next four spots as 11 points separate the four squads – Wesley College (last year's CAC regular-season champion) in third with 58 points, Salisbury University in fourth (53 pts.), Marymount (Va.) University in fifth (51 pts.), and defending CAC tournament champion, University of Mary Washington, in sixth (47 pts.).

York College of Pennsylvania finished seventh in the voting followed by second-year members, Penn State Harrisburg in eighth and Southern Virginia University in ninth, while Frostburg State University completed the poll in the 10-spot.

St. Mary's will open up the 2014-15 campaign this weekend, November 15-16, at the Eastern Mennonite University Tip-Off Invitational in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The Seahawks will take on Bridgewater (Va.) College on the 15th at 5:00 p.m. before the facing the hosts the next day at 4:00 p.m.

The Seahawks are coming off their eighth consecutive winning season under 10th-year head coach Chris Harney '97. Last season ended with a 19-8 (11-5 CAC) record as St. Mary's dropped a five-point decision to the eventual CAC tournament champion, Mary Washington, in the semifinals.

The coaching staff will look to blend 10 newcomers into a well-oiled 17-man machine. Senior Nicholas LaGuerre (Baltimore, Md./Lansdowne), a two-year team captain, returns to hopefully lead the Seahawks back to the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship Tournament.

The two-time first team All-CAC selection, LaGuerre finished off his junior campaign last year with his second straight NABC All-Middle Atlantic District award. The 6-3 guard finished in the top-5 of several CAC statistical categories – fourth in free throw percentage (.816) and steals per game (1.7) as well as fifth in scoring (15.4 ppg) and three-point field goal percentage (.397).

LaGuerre also ranked eighth in assists per game (3.0 apg) and ninth in field goal percentage (.473). Junior Troy Spurrier (Mt. Airy, Md./Glenelg) will add to LaGuerre's perimeter play with solid post play and his inside experience (4.7 rpg) will be counted on to improve the team's eighth-place rebounding average of 33.0. Spurrier owned the conference's second-best field goal percentage at a .621 clip.

As a team last season, the Seahawks paced the conference in field goal percentage (.475), three-point field goal percentage (.372), and free throw percentage (.736) while ranking third in assists per game (14.2 apg) and fourth in steals per game (7.7 spg), blocks per game (2.7 bpg), and scoring (71.9 ppg).

After opening up at the EMU Tip-Off Invitational, St. Mary's will travel to Doylestown, Pennsylvania to face Delaware Valley College (Nov. 19) before heading to upstate New York for The Knee Center of WNY Tournament hosted by Medaille College (Nov. 21-22). The Seahawks will meet Nazareth College on the 21st while the consolation and championship games will be the next day.

St. Mary's will finally play at home at the Michael P. O'Brien Athletics & Recreation Center Arena on December 3rd as the Seahawks put their top billing in the CAC to the test, opening conference play against Salisbury. CAC action continues at Marymount (Dec. 6) before the Seahawks face non-conference opponent, Bryn Athyn College (Dec. 9), in Pennsylvania.

December play continues against 2014 NCAA Elite Eight participant, Mary Washington, on the 13th at home. The UMW Eagles received votes in the D3hoops.com Top 25 Preseason Poll. The Seahawks will then end the last month of the year on the road at Widener University (Dec. 20).

The Seahawks begin the New Year at home against Penn State Harrisburg (Jan. 3) before heading to Frostburg State University on the 7th. Southern Virginia comes to St. Mary's City on the 10th before a two-game road trip at No. 24 Christopher Newport (Jan. 14) and Wesley College (Jan. 17), who received votes in the D3hoops.com preseason rankings after advancing to the NCAA Second Round last season.

St. Mary's will enjoy a two-game home-stand against York (Jan. 21) and Marymount (Jan. 24) before closing out January on the road at Salisbury (the 28th) and Penn State Harrisburg (31st).

February begins with the Seahawks at Mary Washington (the 4th) before hosting Frostburg State on the 7th. York welcomes St. Mary's to the Charles Wolf Gymnasium on the 11th before entertaining Wesley (Feb. 14) and Christopher Newport (Feb. 18). The regular-season ends at Southern Virginia on the 21st.

The 2015 CAC Men's Basketball Championship Tournament starts on February 21 with first-round action followed by the semifinals on the 26th and the championship game on the 28th.

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