BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — West Liberty has been picked to win the 2022 Mountain East Conference men’s basketball championship after a vote conducted by the league’s head coaches.
The Hilltoppers, one of three MEC teams to garner a preseason national ranking coming in at 14th in the NABC preseason poll, finished atop the MEC poll with 116 points and had six first-place votes. West Liberty lost two-time MEC Player of the Year Dalton Bolon, but returns a pair of first-team All-MEC picks in Pat Robinson and Will Yoakum. Malik McKinney, Marlon Moore, Elijah Watson and Bryce Butler, who all saw significant minutes during West Liberty’s run to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight last year, all return to the lineup this year.
Charleston was picked second in the poll with 110 points and four first-place votes. The Golden Eagles are also ranked 25th in the country in the NABC preseason poll. The Golden Eagles return three All-MEC selections from last spring led by first-team pick Lamont McManus and his 14.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
Fairmont State was third with 105 points and had the remaining two first-place votes. The Falcons, winners of the MEC Tournament last year and ranked No. 23 in the country in the NABC preseason poll, return four of five starters from last year headlined by Isaiah Sanders, a first-team All-MEC pick last spring.
West Virginia State was fourth with 86 points, just ahead of Glenville State’s total of 85 points. The Yellow Jackets return the All-MEC first team duo of Glen Abram and Anthony Pittman, while the Pioneers welcome back its decorated duo of John Williams and Nick Edwards.
Concord was slotted sixth with 60 points, followed by Wheeling (55) and Notre Dame (52). Davis & Elkins (45) was picked ninth, and Alderson Broaddus (41), Frostburg State (26) and West Virginia Wesleyan (11) round out the poll.
In total, 13 of the 20 players who earned All-MEC honors last spring are slated to be back in action this winter.
Teams in the MEC will return to a full schedule in 2021-22, which includes 22 conference games. The MEC Tournament is slated for March 2-6 at Wesbanco Arena.
|Rk||School||Pts (1st Place)|
|1.||West Liberty||116 (6)|
|3.||Fairmont State||105 (2)|
|9.||Davis & Elkins||45|