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Men's Basketball Picked Fifth In MASCAC Poll

Marcus Collins goes to the hoop in Westfield's exhibition game at D1 UMass last week.
Marcus Collins goes to the hoop in Westfield's exhibition game at D1 UMass last week.
Westfield, Mass.— The Bridgewater State Bears have been chosen by the seven coaches around the league to win the 2018-19 MASCAC Men's Basketball Championship.

The reigning MASCAC Tournament Champions took home six of the seven first place votes for 39 points. The Bears were 9-3 last season during MASCAC play. Returning for the team is Rayshon Ward who averaged 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds while tallying 62 assists, 30 steals and 19 blocks and shot 50 percent from the field to take home All-Conference accolades.  

Sitting in second is Salem State with 28 points. The Vikings were the 2017-18 MASCAC Regular Season Champs with a 12-0 conference record. All-Conference honoree Sean Bryan finished with 12 points and 5.6 rebounds per game with an 86.2 free throw percentage and 41.4 three-point percentage. He also collected 84 assists and 34 steals on the season.

Fitchburg State sits in the third slot with 25 points. The Falcons went 6-6 during league action last year. Jonathan Perez returns after leading the team in points per game with 14.1 while also averaging 5.1 rebounds per game and added 51 assists and 37 steals.

Getting the final first place vote is Worcester State in fourth with 19 points. The Lancers had two wins last season in MASCAC play. All-Conference honoree Shaun McCarthy averaged 18.8 points and six rebounds per game while tallying 37 assists and shooting 60.6 percent from the field. 

Up next in fifth is Westfield State with 17 points. The Owls were 5-7 during the conference campaign in 2017-18. Back for the squad is Marcus Collins who averaged 15.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field with 53 assists, 36 steals and 29 blocks.  Westfield has added a number of transfer students for the 2018-19 season that could bolster the team's outlook this season.

Rounding out the 2018-19 preseason poll are MCLA and Framingham State in sixth and seventh with 13 and six points, respectively. The Trailblazers were 6-6 during MASCAC action last year. Ki-Shawn Monroe netted 8.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game while adding 69 assists, 16 steals and five blocks. The Rams grabbed two wins during league play last season. Manny Payton, All-Conference honoree, returns after netting 15.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game with 53 assists, 22 steals and 13 blocks on the season.

The 2018-19 Men's Basketball season begins over the next week with the MASCAC teams competing in their season opening non-conference contests. Follow all the games at

2018-19 MASCAC Men's Basketball Pre-Season Coaches Poll
(First Place Votes In Parentheses)

1. Bridgewater State (6) 39 points
2. Salem State   28 points
3. Fitchburg State   25 points
4. Worcester State  (1) 19 points
5. Westfield State   17 points
6. MCLA   13 points
7. Framingham State     6 points