Coppin State was a unanimous selection to win the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men's basketball championship in a preseason poll of sports information directors and coaches announced yesterday.
"It doesn't mean anything," said Coppin State coach Fang Mitchell. "It's all public relations. We have to get it done on the court."
Maryland-Eastern Shore was selected sixth and Morgan State was picked ninth. Both schools will have first-year coaches -- Jeff Menday at UMES and Lynn Ramage at Morgan.
Florida A&M; was picked to finish first in the women's poll, and Coppin and Morgan were picked to finish fifth and sixth, %J respectively. UMES was selected ninth.
Coppin State forward Stephen Stewart, last season's MEAC Player of the Year, was the preseason pick to repeat for the honor, and he heads the All-MEAC preseason first team with teammates Sidney Goodman and Keith Carmichael, both guards.
"Stephen is a strong player. He is very smart and goes to the glass very well," Mitchell said. "He means a lot to us out on the court with his front-court play. Once again, he will be a marked man in the conference."
In its basketball tip-off luncheon, the MEAC also announced it will have nine regular-season games on television. Two games will be shown on ESPN2, the others syndicated through Home Team Sports, Sports South and Channel America.
The MEAC postseason tournament will be held at Morgan State. Last season, Morgan State was host to all but the championship game of the MEAC tournament, held at the Baltimore Arena. Because of scheduling conflicts, the arena was unavailable this season.