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The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference was Morgan State’s conference to lose from opening day last season, as the Bears got off to a great start and never looked back. They went 15-1, losing only at home to South Carolina State on Feb. 15. Delaware State came in second, four games back, at 11-5, with SC State going 10-6 and finishing third. Not surprisingly, Morgan State rolled through the conference tournament before falling to West Virginia in the NCAA Tournament. The Bears actually played the Mountaineers tough in the first half, but then struggled once WVU started hitting shots. Can MSU win a third straight title?
- 1. Morgan State: The Bears should reach their third straight NCAA Tournament on the backs of forwards Kevin Thompson and DeWayne Jackson.
- 2. South Carolina State: They were the only team to beat Morgan State last season, and return guards Darnell Porter and Khalif Toombs.
- 3. Norfolk State: The Spartans finished strong last season, and return a solid inside-outside duo in Rob Hampton and Kyle O’Quinn.
- 4. Bethune-Cookman: Led by high-scoring guard C.J. Reed, the Wildcats are a sleeper. Alexander Starling and Albert Abrahams anchor the frontcourt.
- 5. Maryland-Eastern Shore: Look for the Hawks to be carried by their perimeter trio, which is led by all-conference guard Hillary Haley.
- 6. Hampton: The Pirates played very well towards the end of the season, and will look to carry that momentum over to this year.
- 7. Delaware State: The Hornets are always in games due to their stingy defense. Jay Threatt led the nation in steals last season.
- 8. Howard: The Bison have a young core that should lead the way this season. Calvin Thompson is the main gun on the perimeter.
- 9. North Carolina A&T: Thomas Coleman is one of the league’s best bigs, but he will need more supporting help on the perimeter.
- 10. Florida A&M: The Rattlers return many of their main pieces of last season, including Larry Jackson and Christopher Walker.
- 11. Coppin State: Last year’s cellar-dwellers will look to improve with the return of Michael Harper and Branden Doughty.
Player of the Year: Kevin Thompson, F, Morgan State
- G- C.J. Reed, Bethune-Cookman
- G- Darnell Porter, South Carolina State
- F- DeWayne Jackson, Morgan State
- F- Kevin Thompson, Morgan State
- C: Kyle O’Quinn, Norfolk State
- G- Darrion Pellum, Hampton
- G- Calvin Thompson, Howard
- G- Hillary Haley, Maryland-Eastern Shore
- G/F- Rob Hampton, Norfolk State
- C- Thomas Coleman, North Carolina A&T