WEST BABYLON, NY – The University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team was picked to finish 5th of 10 teams in the East Coast Conference in this year's preseason coaches' poll.
The Firebirds are coming off a 2017-18 season that saw them go 7-20 overall and 5-13 in ECC play. They earned 53 points to edge out 6th place Roberts Wesleyan College (51) and also top No. 7 Queens College (38), No. 8 NYIT (31), No. 9 Mercy (24) and No. 10 LIU Post (17).
Sixth-year head coach Mike Riley has brought in seven transfers – including five from junior colleges and one from NCAA Division I – and one recruit to bolster a roster of four returning student-athletes from last year. Among those four returning players is senior guard Danny Shand, who led the team last year in scoring (13.7 ppg), assists (3.9 apg) and steals (2.2 spg).
UDC opens the 2018-19 season Saturday night at the East Region Conference Challenge, hosted by St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, NY. The Firebirds will first take on the Northeast 10's Stonehill College on Saturday, November 10th at 7:30 p.m., and then take on the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference's Wilmington University (DE) on Sunday, November 11th at 2:00 p.m.
The results of the poll are as follows:
Men's Basketball1. Bridgeport (5) - 952. Daemen (5) - 943. St. Thomas Aquinas - 744. Molloy - 735. Dist. Columbia - 536. Roberts Wesleyan - 517. Queens - 388. NYIT - 319. Mercy - 2410. LIU Post - 17Preseason POY: Andrew Sischo, Daemen(First-place votes)