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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Men’s Little East Conference Much More Competitive Than Previous Years


This is not your father’s Little East Conference


For Men’s basketball, the Little East Conference is one of the most competitive leagues in all of Division 3. Rhode Island College is the defending tournament champions and sported a 12-2 record in the conference last season. The UMB Beacons finished in seventh place out of eight teams last year but have shown great improvements so far in the young 2010-11 season. Last season, the conference was extremely top heavy. Six of the eight teams sported a winning record, while only the bottom two teams were the only two with a loosing record.

The defending champions Rhode Island College come in cautiously optimistic. “Our goal is to win the league”, said Rhode Island College head coach Bob Walsh. “We realize it is a very difficult challenge and a long journey. Hopefully we have the right combination of talent, experience and trust.” The team opened this season with a disappointing loss to Becker but has rebounded well with three straight wins and now stands at three and one on the young campaign. Rhode Island College faces the Beacons in the Clark center Saturday, December 11 at 3 PM. 

Southern Maine is hoping for an improvement after a last place finish in the conference. The Huskies were a dismal 0-14 last season in the conference and 2-23 overall. Coach Karl Henrikson says “We should be improved as we have added quickness, size and depth.” So far, Henrikson is correct. The Huskies have already doubled their win total from last year by rattling off four straight wins to begin the season a perfect 4-0. The future is definitely looking up for the Huskies, and they are riding high early in the year. 

Keene State is coming off a lackluster 6-8 record in the conference. However, head coach Robert Colbert is thinking his team could contend for the conference title. “We are hoping for a year in which we come together as a group and play well enough to compete for the league title at the end of the year”, said Colbert. “We believe that the league will be very top heavy with only a few games separating 1-5. This is a two bid league this year to the NCAA tourney.” Colbert believes the Owls can contend for a tournament bid in a much stronger Little East Conference. 

Plymouth State was a surprise last year, going 16-11 overall last year and coming within two wins of hosting a conference tournament game. Head coach Damien Strahorn said “I’m excited about the upcoming season and hope that we’ll have a chance to exceed people’s expectations.  I’m fortunate to have a well balanced group led by our five seniors.  I think the league has a lot of great teams returning and some really good players.  Hopefully we can find a way to compete at a high level and see where it shakes out in the end.” Plymouth State University had a heart-warming season last year with the hope to build upon it in 2010-2011.

The Little East Conference is often a difficult conference to get a read on because it one of the more balanced and tough conferences. One thing is for sure though. Each team will be a roller coaster this season because each team has talent. Even the last place teams from a year ago have gotten off to fast starts. The Little East Conference is going to be a great ride for everyone involved making the overall champion an unknown.