November 14, 2011



Providence, R.I.óThe Rhode Island College menís basketball team has been chosen as the 2011-12 Little East menís basketball regular-season favorite, according to the annual preseason coachesí poll that was released by the conference office this afternoon. The Anchormen received four of the eight first-place votes and 57 total points to edge Keene State College for the top ranking.


The Owls penned three first-place votes and 54 total points in their ledger to earn the programís highest preseason ranking since 2007-08. Western Connecticut received the remaining first-place tally to secure the third position with 47 points. Eastern Connecticut and UMass Dartmouth finished fourth with 41 points.




ďTo lose four of our top six players to graduation in a league as good as ours and still be picked to win the league by the coaches is a great sign of respect for our program,Ē RIC Head Coach Bob Walsh said. ďItís nice to be thought of in such high regard and with our womenís program picked first as well, itís an exciting time for Rhode Island College basketball. However, our goal is to be number one at the end of February, not in November.Ē 


Rhode Island College is making its second-straight and sixth overall appearance atop the annual survey. Last year, the Anchormen eclipsed the 20-win barrier for the sixth time in the past seven years with an overall record of 21-8. Rhode Island College earned its fifth consecutive berth in the NCAA Div. III Tournament field. Walsh led his charges to the Sectional Semifinals for the second year in a row after defeating Penn State Behrend and Oswego State. The Anchormen received the automatic qualifier into the national draw after raising the 2011 Little East Menís Basketball Championship trophy for the second-straight season.


Walsh will welcome back nine student-athletes from the 2011 edition, including two starters. Rhode Island College will feature one of the strongest frontcourts in the league with the return of 2011 First Team All-Little selections Mike Akinrola (Woonsocket, RI) and Mason Choice (Newport, RI). The senior tandem accounted for 35.2 percent of the Anchormen offense last season. Akinrola led the team in scoring (14.0 ppg), while Choice pulled in a team-high 5.7 rebounds per game.


The Anchormen open the 2011-12 schedule tomorrow night vs. Clark at The Murray Center (7 p.m.)