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Monday, October 27, 2014

ECC Coaches Predict a Three-Peat for Bridgeport Men's Basketball

Coaches Predict a Three-Peat for Bridgeport Men's Basketball
Daemen's Beverly and Dowling's Davis Share Preseason Player of the Year Honor

Central Islip, N.Y. – The University of Bridgeport men’s basketball team has been selected by the coaches of the East Coast Conference to win their third straight ECC title during the 2014-15 season. The league’s coaches also selected Gerald Beverly (Rochester, N.Y./Gates Chili HS) of Daemen and Darien Davis (Middle Island, N.Y./Longwood HS) of Dowling as the Co-Preseason Player of the Year.

After taking home a second straight ECC title and third in five seasons during the 2013-14 campaign, Bridgeport received five first place votes and 113 points to top the preseason poll. The Purple Knights received the top spot in the poll despite returning only one of their top seven scorers from last year's roster (Ernest Rouse - 8.6 points per game).

LIU Post is the runner up in the poll with 107 points and two first place votes. In stark contrast to Bridgeport, the Pioneers return all but one player from a roster that posted a 17-12 record a season ago.

Daemen finishes the top three with two first place and 88 points. The Wildcats were winners of the ECC Regular Season Championship in their debut season in the conference, but were ineligible to advance to the ECC Championship as NCAA Provisional Members. Despite their high perch in the poll, Daemen is still not eligible for ECC or NCAA post-season play once again this year, in their third and final season in the transition from being NAIA members to NCAA Division II.

Dowling, who was the top seed in last year's ECC Championship, and District of Columbia round out the first place vote recipients, with one apiece.

Beverly and Davis share the honor of Preseason Player of the Year after outstanding junior campaigns last season. Beverly, a First Team All-Conference selection and the conference's reigning Defensive Player of the Year, helped guide Daemen to the top spot in the league standings as a force in the paint. The 6-7 forward poured in 18.9 ppg on 57.3 percent shooting from the field and was the only player in the conference to average double digit rebounds, pulling down 10.0 per game. Beverly swatted away 111 shots to average 4.0 blocks per game, as well. Both totals rank in the top-five in ECC history for a single-season.

Davis was a dynamic scorer for the Golden Lions, averaging 20.9 ppg to become the first player to top the 20 point mark at Dowling since the 2001-02 season. Davis, who joined Beverly as a First Team All-Conference honoree and was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District Second Team, shot 48.4 percent from the field. He also finished in the top 10 in the conference in field goals made (194), three-point field goal percentage (37.6), free throws made (133), steals (55), and steals per game (2.0).

2014-2015 ECC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll
Team                                       Pts.                      Last Year’s Record
1. Bridgeport (5)                        113                      18-11 (14-6 ECC)
2. LIU Post (2)                          107                      17-12 (12-8 ECC)
3. Daemen (2)                           88                        21-7 (17-3 ECC)
4. St. Thomas Aquinas              76                        15-14 (9-11 ECC)
5. Dowling (1)                           75                         22-7 (16-4 ECC)
6. Queens                                62                         9-18 (9-11 ECC)
7. Molloy                                  56                         17-13 (13-7 ECC)
8. NYIT                                    54                         10-16 (8-12 ECC)
9. District of Columbia (1)          42                          3-23 (1-19 ECC)
10. Roberts Wesleyan               37                         13-16 (8-12 ECC)
11. Mercy                                 16                          3-23 (3-17 ECC)

( ) - First Place Votes

Co-Preseason Player of the Year – Gerald Beverly, Daemen (6-7, Sr., F, Rochester, N.Y.)
Co-Preseason Player of the Year – Darien Davis, Dowling (6-3, Sr., G, Middle Island, N.Y.)

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