MAAC Releases Preseason Basketball Polls

Oct. 28, 2003

NEW YORK, NY - The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference announced its 2003-04 preseason basketball polls at Tuesday's Media Day in Madison Square Garden. The Loyola women picked up 38 points and were picked eighth, while the men were picked 10th overall.

The Greyhound women, 11-17 last season, have the nation's second youngest team with players like Katie Scherle, last year's MAAC Rookie of the Year, on the roster. Head Coach Candy Cage, now in her third season at Loyola, finished eight in the conference last season after a 10th-place finish in her first year at the helm.

Scherle, selected to the preseason second-team All-MAAC squad at Tuesday's Media Day, will look to Lindsay Cobb, Cage's lone senior, for leadership.

"We are extremely young this year," says Cage. "But the backbone, heart and soul of our program is senior Lindsay Cobb. She has a lot on her shoulders this year, being our leader on and off the court."

Cobb averaged 6 points per game and 2.4 rebounds per game to go along with her 44 steals. Scherle, Loyola's only preseason All-MAAC player, is also the Greyhounds top returning scorer with an 8.6 point-per-game average. Scherle also averaged 5.9 rebounds per game and added 22 steals and 10 blocked shots in 2002-03.

Like the women, the men's team also has one senior on its roster. Lindbergh Chatman will guide a Greyhound squad that received 13 points in the MAAC preseason coaches' poll. Head Coach Scott Hicks will also field a young team, but has five upperclassmen to lean on.

"For the first time since I've been at Loyola, we have five upperclassmen," says Hicks. "With any good program, you have to have returning players that have an impact. We'll be looking for a few people to step up and I'm excited that they will."

Among Hicks' returnees is junior Bernard Allen, last season's leading rebounder (7.0 rpg) and the top returning scorer (8.4 ppg) for the Greyhounds. Loyola also has four incoming freshmen and welcomes back redshirt sophomore Sean Corrigan, who missed last season with and injury.

"Sean Corrigan is probably our biggest surprised this preseason," says Hicks. "He's a very talented guy with good size (6-11) that will help us out on the offensive side."

In the polls, Fairfield was picked to finish first on the women's side with 91 points. The Stags finished sixth in the conference last season and return all five starters in 2003-04.

On the men's side, Manhattan is picked to repeat as MAAC Champions with eight first-place votes and 98 poll points. The Jaspers return four starters, including MAAC preseason Player of the Year Luis Flores.

"The MAAC will be very competitive this season," says Manhattan Coach Bobby Gonzalez. "Any good league is about its players and we have a lot of great players in our conference."

"Any team in this league can win," adds Flores. "From 1-10, each team has a chance at ending the year as number one."

Both the Loyola women and men open the regular season on Friday night, Nov. 21. The women host Wake Forest while the men face UMBC at the Battle of Baltimore Classic at Towson. Both games are slated for 7 p.m. tipoffs.

Preseason MAAC Basketball Poll
Women1. Fairfield2. Siena3. St. Peter's4. Niagara5. Manhattan6. Canisius7. Marist8. Loyola 9. Rider10. Iona

Men1. Manhattan2. Niagara3. Iona4. Siena5. Fairfield6. Marist7. St. Peter's8. Rider9. Canisius10. Loyola