Basketball, Sports

Poll: M. basketball picked to win AE for second straight year

In this, the 100th season of men’s basketball at Boston University, it’s only fitting that the 2008-09 campaign begins with the number one.
For the second consecutive season, the Terriers were selected to finish first in the conference by America East coaches Monday. BU received five first-place votes and a league-high 59 points to the University of Vermont’s four first-place votes and 55 points.
Last year, BU (14-17, 9-7 America East) failed to live up to its paramount billing due to a sluggish start as well as a bevy of injuries. The Terriers finished sixth in the conference and lost to the University of Hartford in the semifinals of the America East Tournament.
Perhaps BU’s 9-3 finish to last season gave opposing coaches a sense of the capabilities possessed by a healthy Terrier team, even though Vermont boasts last year’s Conference Player of the Year, Marqus Blakely, and one of the top transfers to join the league in Maurice Joseph from Michigan State University.
‘It’s always flattering to be thought of this way by the other coaches in the league,’ BU coach Dennis Wolff said at the conference’s media day in Albany, N.Y. ‘I think with all of the roster changes that have gone on with some of the other teams that the accuracy of a poll like this could be debated. That being said, I think we have a good team that is capable of winning the league, but we will have to play more consistently from start to finish than we did last season.’
In addition to BU’s first-place billing, junior guard Corey Lowe (who averaged 18.1 points per game last season) was a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-Conference team.
Runner-up Hartford was tabbed third with 51 points, followed by the defending champion University of Maryland-Baltimore County (45). Binghamton University (37), the University at Albany (30), the University of New Hampshire (24), the University of Maine (13) and Stony Brook University (10) rounded out the voting.

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