Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hampton picked to rule MEAC again

For the second year in a row, the MEAC gave Hampton a high five and Norfolk State the back of its hand.

The Lady Pirates were a repeat choice as the preseason favorite in a poll of the league's coaches and sports information directors. Last year, Hampton rewarded that faith by winning 15 of 16 conference games, sweeping through the league tournament and earning the MEAC's highest NCAA Tournament seed (13) since the advent of the 64-team format. The Lady Pirates then stared down Kentucky before falling in overtime in the NCAA first round. Can't wait to see what they do for an encore (like that word, Kenny Brooks?).

Meanwhile, Norfolk State was picked last (13th) for the second time in as many seasons. Now this result isn't terribly surprising as the Spartans were just 2-14 in the MEAC last year. Still, we figured NSU had a chance to escape the preseason cellar in favor of conference newcomers Savannah State and/or North Carolina Central. The Spartans split two games with Central last year and have beaten Savannah State in each of the past two seasons.

That pounding sound you may hear is Spartans coach Debra Clark tacking this poll to the bulletin board in the NSU locker room....

Howard's Saadia Doyle, the 2011 MEAC Player of the Year, is the preseason choice to win the honor again. Doyle is joined on the first team by Hampton's Jericka Jenkins, Florida A&M's Antonia Bennett and Tameka McKelton and North Carolina A&T's JaQualya Berry.

The poll results

1. Hampton
2. Howard
3. North Carolina A&T
4. Florida A&M
5. Morgan State
6. Coppin State
7. Bethune-Cookman
8. Maryland-Eastern Shore
9. South Carolina State
10. Delaware State
11. Savannah State
12. North Carolina Central
12. Norfolk State

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