November 14, 2013



Providence, R.I.-Rhode Island College has been projected as the preseason favorite to capture the Little East menís basketball regular-season title, according to the 2013-14 coachesí poll that was released by the conference office this afternoon.  The Anchormen are making their seventh appearance in the past nine seasons atop the coachesí survey with six first-place votes and a total of 60 points.




Eastern Connecticut will enter the 2013-14 campaign ranked second with 51 total points to earn the programís highest ranking since 1999-2000. Keene State and Plymouth State are predicted to be strong contenders in the eyes of the eight conference coaches with each squad receiving one first place vote. The Owls placed third with 49 points, 15 markers ahead of their intra-state rivals.


Rhode Island College has earned the top billing in the annual preseason coachesí poll for the third time in the past four seasons after posting the programís seventh straight season with at least 20 victories. Under the direction of Bob Walsh, the Anchormen won 26 of their 30 games, including a 13-1 mark inside the conference circuit. The 26 victories are the second highest single-season total in the 55-year history of the program, falling just one win shy of the 2006-07 squad. Walsh also guided his cagers to the No. 21 ranking in the final edition of the Top 25.


Rhode Island College closed strong down the stretch to claim its seventh regular-season crown with a 5-0 mark against conference opponents. The Anchormen earned the top seed in the 2013 Little East Menís Basketball Championship and defended their home court advantage with wins over UMass Dartmouth, Southern Maine and Keene State. Walsh and his charges secured their fifth Little East tournament championship to receive the automatic qualifier into the NCAA tournament. Rhode Island College edged Liberty League champion, Hobart College, 62-59, in overtime in the first round before bowing out to Morrisville State, 66-61, in OT. 


Walsh will welcome three starters and seven total players back into the fold from the 2013 squad. Rhode Island College is ranked No. 22 in the Preseason Top 25. Junior forward Chris Burton (New Rochelle, NY) is the most heralded student-athlete on the Anchormen roster, earning All-Little East, second-team honors in 2013.  Last year, Burton led the squad in blocks (42) and steals (77), while producing 10.5 points per game. After four exhibition games, Rhode Island College will open the 2013-14 schedule against Skidmore College at the Babson Invitational on Friday, Nov. 15.