Salem State Chosen to Win 2017-18 MASCAC Men’s Basketball Championship

Salem State Chosen to Win 2017-18 MASCAC Men’s Basketball Championship
Westfield, Mass.— The Salem State Vikings have been chosen to win the 2017-18 MASCAC Men’s Basketball title as voted on by the seven coaches around the conference.
 
The Vikings received six of seven first place votes for 36 points in this year’s poll. The reigning 2016-17 MASCAC Tournament Champions were 9-3 during the league schedule last season. Returning for the team is All-Conference honoree Shaquan Murray. Last season, he averaged 15.8 points per game with a 46.3 field goal percentage, 81.5 free throw percentage, 56 rebounds and 41 assists. 
 
Earning the final first place vote with 28 points is Bridgewater State. The Bears closed out last season with a 7-5 record in conference play. During the 2016-17, Rocky DeAndrade netted 86 assists, 46 steals and a 42 percent three-points percentage which all were the third-best in the league. He also tallied 13.8 points per game with 99 rebounds and an 85 free throw percentage on his way to All-Conference honors.
 
Fitchburg State sits in the third slot with 27 points. The 2016-17 MASCAC Regular Season Champions were 10-2 last season. Back on the squad this season is 2016-17 All-Conference member Joshua Bosworth who averaged 10.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game plus 41 assists, 29 steals and 19 blocks.
 
Landing in fourth with 19 points is Westfield State. The Owls were 6-6 during MASCAC action last season. Peter Mafo returns to the hardwood for the Owls. He averaged 11.1 points per  game last season while also tallying 61 assists, 28 steals and 44 rebounds with a 44.2 field goal percentage.  
 
Up next in fifth is 2016-17 MASCAC Tournament runner-up Worcester State with 18 points. The Lancers had a 6-6 mark in league play during the 2016-17.  Last season, Cal Howes averaged nine points per game with 59 rebounds, 25 assists, 13 steals and seven blocks.   
 
Closing out the 2017-18 preseason poll are Framingham State and MCLA in sixth and seventh with 13 and six points, respectively. The Rams netted four wins during conference action last season. Manny Payton is back for the team. Last season, he averaged 10.6 points per game while also tallying 73 rebounds, 51 assists, 19 steals and 11 blocks.  For the Trailblazers, Tyler McKay returns after a 2016-17 season that saw him lead the league in three point percentage at 44.2 with 111 total points, 22 assists, 32 rebounds and four steals.
 
The 2017-18 Men’s Basketball season kicks off next week with the MASCAC teams competing in their season opening non-conference contests.  Catch all the action at mascac.com.
 

2017-18 MASCAC Men's Basketball Pre-Season Coaches Poll
(First Place Votes In Parentheses)

1. Salem State (6) 36 points
2. Bridgewater State (1) 28 points
3. Fitchburg State   27 points
4. Westfield State   19 points
5. Worcester State   18 points
6. Framingham State   13 points
7. MCLA     6 points

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