Howard senior James Daniel, III was selected Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Men’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year, the conference announced today. Howardwas predicted to win the regular season title.

The preseason poll and all-conference teams are selected by the conference’s head women’s basketball coaches and sports information directors.

Daniel, the 2016 MEAC Player of the Year, led the nation in scoring, averaging 27.1 points per game, and ranked first in the nation in free-throws made (280) for the Bison last season. A six-time MEAC Player of the Week, Daniel recorded nine 30-point games, including a career-high 39 points in the win against William & Mary. He was also named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches 2015-16 Division I All-District First Team. He currently ranks 10th all-time in scoring amongst MEAC players and needs 377 points to surpass Delaware State’s Tom Davis (1987-91) as the all-time leading scorer. His 21.5 points per game career scoring average ranks second. [easyazon_infoblock align=”right” cart=”y” identifier=”B01CO183CY” locale=”US” tag=”hbcusports-20″]

Howard earned 13 first-place votes and 286 points to be named as favorites for the regular season title. The Bison were 6-10 in conference play and 12-20 overall last year. Howard opens its season on Nov. 11 in Ann Arbor, Mich. against the University of Michigan.

Under the guidance of head coach Kevin Nickelberry, the Bison enter the season with high expectations as it has been 30-plus years since the Bison entered as heavy favorites. During a stretch from 1975-87, the Bison captured three MEAC regular season championships and two MEAC Tournament titles. They also finished in third place or higher in 10 of those 11 seasons. The team’s last MEAC Regular Season and Tournament Championship both occurred in 1992.

In addition to the accolades, the team will also be featured throughout the season on ESPN’s The Undefeated beginning with a forum featuring NBA Hall-of-Famer Oscar Robertson and Howard’s James Daniel, III on Oct. 27 at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

South Carolina State was predicted to finish second with nine first-place votes and 292 points. The Bulldogs made it to the finals of last year’s MEAC Basketball Tournament before falling to Hampton. SCSU recorded a 19-15 overall record and a 12-4 mark in MEAC play.

Hampton, the 2015-16 MEAC Tournament and regular season champions, received two first-place votes and was predicted to finish third, while North Carolina Central was selected to finish fourth. Norfolk State received fifth place with Bethune-Cookman at sixth place. North Carolina A&T State (7th), Maryland Eastern Shore (8th), Morgan State (9th), Coppin State (10th), Savannah State (11th), Delaware State (12th) and Florida A&M (13th) round out the 2016-17 preseason poll.

Joining Daniel on the preseason All-MEAC First Team is teammate Marcel Boyd, South Carolina State’s Eric Eaves, Bethune-Cookman’s Jordan Potts and North Carolina A&T State’s Sam Hunt.

The 2016-17 MEAC men’s basketball season tips off on Friday, Nov. 11 with 12 MEAC teams in non-conference action.

The 2017 MEAC Basketball Tournament is scheduled for March 6-11 at the Norfolk Scope Arena in Norfolk, Va.

2016-17 MEAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Predicted Order of Finish
As voted on by the MEAC’s head men’s basketball coaches and sports information directors.
(First place votes in parenthesis)

Team                                                  Points

1. Howard (14)                              299

2. South Carolina State (9)              292

3. Hampton (2)                             250

4. North Carolina Central                 234

5. Norfolk State                             203

6. Bethune-Cookman                      182

7. North Carolina A&T State             141

8. Maryland Eastern Shore              140

9. Morgan State                             136

10. Coppin State                            123

11. Savannah State                        121

12. Delaware State                        104

13. Florida A&M                             50

 

2016-17 MEAC Men’s Basketball Preseason All-MEAC Teams
As voted on by the MEAC’s head men’s basketball coaches and sports information directors.

Preseason Player of the Year: James Daniel, III, Howard

First Team

Name School Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown
James Daniel, III Howard G/F 6-0 175 Sr. Hampton, Va.
Eric Eaves South Carolina State G 6-3 195 Sr. Columbia, S.C.
Jordan Potts Bethune-Cookman G 5-10 185 r-Sr. Columbus, Ohio
Sam Hunt North Carolina A&T G 6-2 175 r-Jr. Greensboro, N.C.
Marcel Boyd Howard G 6-10 230 Sr. Accokeek, Md.

 Second Team

Name School Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown
Patrick Cole North Carolina Central G 6-5 210 r-Sr. Newark, N.J
Edward Stephens South Carolina State G 6-2 185 Jr. Columbia, S.C.
Phillip Carr Morgan State F 6-8 200 Jr. Brooklyn, N.Y.
Devin Morgan Delaware State G 5-10 180 So. Chester, Va.
Bakari Copeland Maryland Eastern Shore F 6-6 235 Sr. Decatur, Ga.

Third Team

Name School Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown
Troyce Manassa Savannah State G 6-4 215 Sr. Mobile, Ala.
Terry Harris, Jr. Coppin State F 6-8 205 Sr. Baltimore, Md.
Jordan Butler Norfolk State F 6-6 240 Jr. Hartford, Conn.
DeAndre Haywood Delaware State G 6-2 200 Sr. Paterson, N.J.
Damon Collins Howard G/F 6-5 180 Sr. Grand Prairie, Texas

Courtesy: MEAC



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