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