MANSFIELD, Mass. – The Saint Anselm College men's basketball team was picked as the preseason favorite to win the Northeast Division of the Northeast-10 Conference, according to the league's annual Preseason Coaches' Poll released on Thursday.
Saint Anselm earned 13 first-place votes and 111 points, topping the eight-team division for the second-straight season. Merrimack was picked second with 95 points and two first-place votes, followed by Bentley, Stonehill and Southern New Hampshire.
The Hawks rattled off a 22-9 overall record last season, winning the Northeast Division Regular Season Championship for the first time since 2013-14 with a 15-6 record in conference play. Led by Head Coach Keith Dickson, who will begin his 33rd season at the helm, Saint Anselm made its sixth-straight appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament in 2017-18.
Saint Anselm returns the majority of its starting five, including the league's reigning Player of the Year, senior Tim Guers. In an outstanding junior campaign, Guers posted 666 points which stands as the second-most by any Hawks student-athlete in program history. He also averaged 21.5 points per game alongside 7.4 rebounds per tilt en route to All-America honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Also returning for the Hawks is senior Cody Ball (Londonderry, N.H.), a Third Team All-NE10 selection, who averaged 14.7 points per game and posted the league's second-best three-point field goal percentage (.448). Sophomores Gustav Suhr-Jessen (Virum, Denmark) and Chris Paul (Highland Mills, N.Y.) also return after outstanding first-year campaigns for Saint Anselm.
Southern Connecticut State garnered nine first-place votes in the conference's Southwest Division, topping the poll alongside Saint Anselm. Four teams picked up at least one first-place vote, including three for New Haven who placed second. Le Moyne and Saint Rose rounded out the top-four spots in the conference's other division.
The Hawks open their season on Saturday, Nov. 10, traveling to Waltham, Mass. and the campus of Bentley University for a 5 p.m. tilt against non-conference Bloomfield.