TOWSON, Md. - The Catholic University men's basketball team was picked to finish fifth in the Landmark Conference Preseason Coaches Poll released on Wednesday.
The Cardinals, who finished fifth a year ago with a 10-15 record and a mark of 6-8 in the conference, received 26 points.
Scranton, who finished third a year ago, was picked first with 70 points and seven first-place votes. The Royals were 20-6 a year ago and 9-5 in league play, losing to Drew in the semifinals of the 2018 Landmark Conference Men's Basketball Championship.
Susquehanna, who tied for third with a 9-5 league record, was picked second with 53 points and one first-place vote. The River Hawks finished 16-10 a year ago after falling to defending champion Moravian in the semifinals.
Drew was picked third, just one point behind Susquehanna, followed by Moravian. The Rangers fell to the Greyhounds in last year's championship game,
Catholic returns two starters and 11 players from last year's team, including senior Riley Hayes who was named to the All-Landmark Conference Second Team after averaging 13.9 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Senior Collin Hartmann also returns after starting 17 games last season and averaging 5.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists.
The Cards open the 2019-20 season at home next Tuesday, November 12 versus Messiah. The game will mark the head coaching debut for Aaron Kelly '06.
Kelly played 91 games for the Cardinals from 2002-06 and was elected as a team captain as a senior. During that time, the Cardinals totaled an 89-28 record, advancing to four conference finals and capturing Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) championships in 2004 and 2006. They also made four postseason appearances, including three in the NCAA tournament in 2003, 2004 and 2006.
2019-20 Men's Basketball Preseason Poll
1. Scranton – 70 points (6)
2. Susquehanna – 53 points (1)
3. Drew – 52 points
4. Moravian – 36 points
5. CATHOLIC – 26 points
6. Elizabethtown – 18 points
6. Juniata - 18 points
8. Goucher – 7 points