Saturday, November 5, 2016

MEAC men's basketball preview: HU success not a surprise

HAMPTON, Virginia -- For the second year in a row, Hampton University won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA tournament in 2015-16. The first time, it was unexpected. The second time, the Pirates had a target on their backs.


1. J-BYRD RETURNS FOR ANOTHER RUN. Howard guard James Daniel III comes into his senior season with 1,899 points. That's already a school record, and it's only 376 short of the MEAC superlative held by Delaware State's Tom Davis. The Phoebus High graduate finished as the nation's leading scorer last season with 27.1 ppg, but Daniel is expected to miss the start of the season with a sprained ankle.

2. BULLDOGS ARE EXPERIENCED. In previewing the MEAC race, Hampton coach Buck Joyner said Howard and South Carolina State are "1A and 1B." S.C. State's Bulldogs (19-15, 12-4) are coming off their best season since 2005 and return guards Eric Eaves (17.3 ppg), a first-team All-MEAC pick last season, and Ed Stephens (13.1 ppg).


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