WLU Men Unanimous Pick to Pull Off MEC ‘4-Peat’

Sports

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – The Mountain East Conference men’s basketball coaches installed No. 8-ranked West Liberty as a prohibitive favorite to pull off a “4-peat” in this year’s sprint to the MEC title.

    With all five starters back from last year’s nationally-ranked powerhouse, Coach Ben Howlett’s three-time defending MEC champions received 11 of 12 first-place votes and 121 points in the league-wide balloting released late Wednesday afternoon.

    Howlett brings a long list of accomplishments and a dazzling 81-13 record into his fourth year at the WLU helm. One of the biggest came in March at WesBanco Arena when his Hilltoppers became the first MEC team ever to sweep the league’s regular season and tournament championships in the same season. He says his players won’t back down from the challenge of being preseason favorites.

    “Our guys understand that dealing with high expectations is just part of the territory here at West Liberty,” Howlett said. “The MEC is a great basketball league with quality teams top to bottom. If you don’t bring your ‘A’ game every night, you’ll walk off that floor with a loss. We definitely appreciate the respect but right now we’re just thrilled to be able to play somebody in a different jersey.”

    Fairmont State, ranked No. 23 in the nation, earned the other first-place vote – coaches weren’t allowed to vote for their own teams – to hold down the No. 2 spot with 111 points. Charleston, which is among teams receiving Top 25 votes, was third with 99 points with a veteran West Virginia State squad close behind with 93. Wheeling (77) and Concord (65) rounded out the top half of the poll.

    Glenville State was No. 7 with 57 points, just ahead of No. 8 Notre Dame (52). Newcomer Alderson Broaddus (35) and West Virginia Wesleyan (32) round out the top 10 ahead of Davis & Elkins (29) and Frostburg State (21).

    The Hilltoppers open defense of their MEC title at home on Thursday night when they host Notre Dame (Ohio). Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at the ASRC. In accordance with MEC guidelines, no spectators will be permitted.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

2020-21 MEC Preseason Poll

Team                                                                 Pts

  1. WEST LIBERTY (11)                               121

  2. Fairmont State (1)                                 111

  3. Charleston                                                  99

  4. W.Va. State                                                93

  5. Wheeling                                                    77

  6. Concord                                                      65

  7. Glenville State                                           57

  8. Notre Dame                                               52

  9. Alderson Broaddus                                   35

10. W.Va. Wesleyan                                        32

11. Davis & Elkins                                            29

12. Frostburg State                                         21

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Sports Video

More Sports Videos

video

More Video

 

 

College Scoreboard

Barnesville High School

Beallsville High School

Beaver Local High School

Bellaire High School

Bridgeport High School

Brooke High School

Buckeye Local High School

Buckeye Trail High School

Caldwell High School

Cambridge High School

Cameron High School

Clay-Battelle High School

Conotton Valley High School

East Liverpool High School

Edison High School

Fort Frye High School

Harrison Central High School

Hundred High School

Indian Creek High School

John Marshall High School

Linsly High School

Magnolia High School

Martins Ferry High School

Meadowbrook High School

Monroe Central High School

Morgantown High School

Oak Glen High School

Paden City High School

Parkersburg High School

Parkersburg Catholic High School

Parkersburg South High School

River High School

St. Clairsville High School

Shadyside High School

Shenandoah High School

Steubenville High School

Steubenville Catholic Central High School

Toronto High School

Tyler Consolidated High School

Union Local High School

University High School

Valley High School

Weir High School

Weirton Madonna High School

Wellsville High School

Wheeling Central High School

Wheeling Park High School

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

More Top News

WTRF 7News Twitter

12SportsZone Twitter