Oct. 8, 2009
BEAVERTON, OR-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team has been picked sixth in the annual Division III News pre-season men's basketball poll.
UMass Dartmouth was the only Little East Conference team ranked in the publication's pre-season top 25. Rhode Island College is among teams listed as others to watch. Defending champion Washington (MO) is ranked first. Corsair opponents Salem State and Brandeis are ranked 12th and 14th, respectively. UMass Dartmouth is also ranked first in the Little East by Division III News. RIC and Eastern Connecticut State were ranked next.
"I was a little surprised at being ranked that high," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "With the year we had, and our returning veterans, I figured that we would be in the top 20. Now, we have to live up to the expectations. It's going to be difficult, but I'm sure we'll be up for the challenge. Out team has to keep that in perspective and has to understand that when other teams see the rankings and they're playing us, they'll be extremely juiced up to knock us off."
The Corsairs finished 27-4 last season and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Division III Championships. They will open their season when they host Johnson & Wales Tuesday, November 17th.