NU named on MAAC preseason pollsby jmaloni
Men's senior point guard Anthony Nelson earned Preseason All-MAAC Third Team recognition. Women's senior forward Liz Flooks and sophomore guard Kayla Stroman were named to the Preseason All-MAAC Second Team.
Men's head coach Joe Mihalich, who led Niagara to the MAAC Tournament semifinals in nine out of 12 years, enters his 13th season at the helm. The young Purple Eagles received 40 points to rank eighth in the poll.
Nelson, who is the lone senior on this season's team, was selected to the Preseason All-MAAC Third Team for his first-ever preseason honor. Nelson is the returning team leader in points (9.9 points per game), assists (5.0 apg), rebounds (4.8 rpg), steals (1.4 spg) and minutes (35.4 mpg).
The Fairfield Stags were tabbed to win the conference and Siena senior forward Ryan Rossiter was named Preseason Player of the Year.
In Niagara women's basketball, reigning MAAC Coach of the Year Kendra Faustin returns six players from last season's squad, which finished fifth in the conference with a 9-9 record. The Purple Eagles placed two players on the Preseason All-MAAC Teams in Flooks and Stroman.
Flooks, who earned All-MAAC Second Team honors last season, was second in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage and was ranked 11th in scoring (12.5 ppg). Stroman was named MAAC Rookie of the Year after averaging 9.2 ppg, 4.4 apg, 4.0 rpg and 2.1 spg during the regular season.
Marist, the five-time defending champion, was selected first in the conference and had the preseason Player of the Year in senior guard Erica Allenspach.