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Coppin State

Coach: Fang Mitchell, 24th season at Coppin State, 371-321

2008-09 record: 13-19 overall, 9-3 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (third place)

Top players: Michael Harper, G, So.; Eddie Hayden, F, Jr.; Mike Buckley, F, Jr.; Sam Coleman, C, Jr.; Vincent Goldsberry, G, Jr.; Ceslovas Kucinskas, C, Jr.; Lenny Young, G, So.

Outlook: The biggest challenge will likely be filling the void left by the graduation of Tywain McKee, the school's all-time leading scorer and the MEAC Player of the Year. The Eagles will be led by Harper, who was named to the MEAC All-Rookie team last season, and Coleman (Mervo), a preseason All-MEAC first-team pick. Coppin State was selected to finish seventh in the preseason poll, but expectations are much higher in West Baltimore.


Coach: Jimmy Patsos, sixth season at Loyola, 70-82

2008-09 record: 12-20 overall (7-11 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (seventh place)

Top players: Brian Rudolph, G, Jr.; Jamal Barney, G, Jr.; Brett Harvey, G. Sr.; Jawaan Wright, F, Sr.; Anthony Winbush, F, So.; Shane Walker, F, So.

Outlook: The Greyhounds are expected to improve from last season with the addition of Walker, a Maryland transfer. Loyola also returns two of its top scorers, Barney and Harvey, who had the best free-throw percentage (.910) in the nation last season. Loyola was picked to finish fifth along with Saint Peter's in what is shaping up to be a tough MAAC this season.

Mount St. Mary's

Coach: Milan Brown, seventh season at Mount St. Mary's, 79-105

2008-09 record: 19-14 overall 12-6 Northeast Conference (second place)

Top players: Jean Cajou, G, Jr.; Jeremy Goode, G, Sr.; Kelly Beidler, F. Sr.; Pierre Brown, F. Jr.; Shawn Atupem, F. Jr.; Will Holland, G-F, Sr.; Lamar Trice, G, So.; Tayvon Jackson, F, Jr.; Danny Thompson, F, So.

Outlook: The Mountaineers are picked to finish first in the NEC. The biggest challenge might be replacing starters Sam Atupem and Markus Mitchell, who were both lost to graduation. Goode, a first-team All-NEC pick, leads a talented backcourt with Cajou. The Mountaineers will be strong again defensively after leading the conference last season in scoring defense (63.0 points per game) and field-goal percentage defense (.419).


Coach: Billy Lange, sixth season at Navy, 69-77

2008-09 record: 19-11 overall, 8-6 Patriot League (third place)

Top players: Chris Harris, G, Sr.; T.J. Topercer, F.; Sr., Scott Brooks, F.; Sr., Romeo Garcia, G, Jr.; Jeremy Wilson, C, Jr.

Outlook: The Midshipmen, who were picked to finish seventh in the preseason poll, return three starters and five lettermen. Navy will be led by Harris, who was a second-team All-Patriot League pick the past two seasons. Navy will face some early challenges, as it plays four teams that appeared in either the NCAA tournament or NIT last season. The Midshipmen are looking to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998.


Coach: Pat Kennedy, fifth season at Towson, 50-96 .

2008-09 record: 12-22 overall, 5-13 Colonial Athletic Association (10th place)

Top players: Josh Thornton, G, Sr.; Brian Morris, G, Jr.; Troy Franklin, G, So.; Jarrel Smith, F, Jr.; Calvin Lee, F, Sr.; David Brewster, F., Jr.

Outlook: The Tigers return eight players, including six with at least 17 starts, and are looking to build on last season's run to the CAA semifinals. The Tigers are picked to finish ninth in the preseason poll. One of Towson's strengths should be its backcourt with Thornton, Morris and Franklin. Thornton (10.9 ppg) is the top returning scorer.


Coach: Randy Monroe, sixth season at UMBC, 72-83

2008-09 record: 15-17 overall, 7-9 America East (sixth place)

Top players: Justin Fry, F, Sr.; Chauncey Gilliam, G, So.; Matt Spadafora, G-F, Sr.; Chris De La Rosa, G, So.; Robbie Jackson, C, Jr.

Outlook: UMBC has been one of the most dominant teams in America East, advancing to the conference championship game the past two seasons. The Retrievers will have to play the fall portion of the schedule without Gilliam, who is academically ineligible. Fry is out until January after undergoing knee surgery.


Coach: Frankie Allen, second season at UMES, 7-23

2008-09 record: 7-23 overall, 3-13 MEAC (11th place)

Top players: Neal Pitt, F, Sr.; Tyler Hines, F-C, So.; Josh Bright, G, So.; Tim Burns, G, Jr., redshirt.

Outlook: The Hawks will be led by Pitt, a second-team All-MEAC pick last season. UMES dropped 11 of its final 12 games last season, so it will be looking for more consistency in a tough conference. Still, the seven wins were the most for the Hawks since the 2005-06 season, when they finished with a mark of 7-22.

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