Thursday, November 10, 2016

The MEAC: Overview of men's basketball

NORFOLK, Virginia -- A look at the MEAC, based on the preseason poll:

1. Howard The Bison (12-20 overall, 6-10 MEAC last season) return the league’s top player in high-scoring guard James Daniel, but not right away. Daniel, who led the nation with 27.1 points per game in 2015-16, is out 4 to 6 weeks with an ankle injury, forcing Howard to look to other scoring sources early on.

2. South Carolina State The Bulldogs (19-14, 12-4) return three starters from a team that lost to Hampton in the MEAC tournament final in Norfolk, including top scorer Eric Eaves (17.6 ppg). Four newcomers who are 6-7 or taller give South Carolina State reason to believe it can contend.

3. Hampton Just one starter returns from a team that went 21-11 overall and 13-3 in the MEAC on its way to a tournament title and a second straight NCAA tournament appearance. With 11 players who are freshmen or sophomores, eighth-year coach Buck Joyner will have his work cut out for him to repeat.

4. North Carolina Central The Eagles (13-19, 7-9), the last team besides Hampton to win the MEAC tournament, have just two returning starters after a down year. But N.C. Central isn’t short on experience: 12 of its 14 players are transfers.


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