Ok, we've had a day to digest the NEC Preseason Coaches Poll and it really still doesn't seem to be sitting very well with Mount fans.
The general consensus that I'm hearing from Mount fans is that the Mount was picked way too high. And the second thing I'm hearing is that the slight from the league's coaches will give Jamion Christian another reason to fire up his troops.
The Mount returns four starters from last year's tournament runner-up. Among those four are the three who made it go the most and the fourth is senior Kristijan Krajina who started his first game five years ago in Norman Oklahoma and has seen all the changes the program has gone through since then.
Normally, I don't get too worked up over polls and preseason picks. After all, they mean absolutely nothing. But in this case it does mean that the Mount's 41-day run, that saw them win 11 times in 13 games at the end of last year did very little to earn respect around the league.,
Some of it makes sense, the Mount did lose several players, Shivaughn Wiggins and Kelvin Parker are both gone from the program and Raven Barber was the third pick in the Canadian Draft last spring. But all of the other teams lost players as well.
And among those teams ranked ahead of the Mount, there's Central Connecticut State. The Blue Devils were 0-2 versus the Mount last year and lost four more games than they won, and bowed out in the first round of the NEC Tournament by 22. No wonder folks are confused.
Or what about the Bulldogs of Bryant. After starting the season with 13 wins in 17 games, Bryant lost 8 of its last 14, including a pair of losses to the Mount. A 14-point beatdown at Knott Arena, and the Mount's 1st round win at Bryant in the NEC Tournament.
LIU deserves the respect that a 3-time defending champion should get. But if we're talking about teams losing players, it's hard to say that anybody wasn't harder hit than LIU. The Blackbirds lost Jamal Olasawere and CJ Garner - and Julian Boyd's health is once again in question as he tries to return from another knee injury.
Robert Morris and Wagner are also ahead of the Mount and arguments can be made either way.
Championships aren't won because of the picks of coaches in October. So it really doesn't mean very much in the long run. But it does prove that the Mount still hasn't won the respect of the other coaches in the league. And you can guarantee that they're working hard this October to change that.
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