The Sacred Heart men’s basketball team was picked to finish second and the women’s program third in the Northeast Conference basketball preseason polls.

Sacred Heart received three first-place votes to finish only behind LIU in the men’s preseason poll while Central Connecticut was picked 10th out of 11 teams.

Sacred Heart junior forward E.J. Anosike was named to the preseason All-NEC team after averaging 14.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Koreem Ozier is another key returnee after averaging 14 points per game as a freshman. The Pioneers only lost one player off a team that finished 11-7 in the NEC a season ago, but the loss was leading scorer Sean Hoehn.

CCSU returns two starters as Jamir Coleman (12.1 points per game) and Ian Krishnan (12) from last season.

Former Hillhouse High star Raiquan Clark, a senior guard at LIU, is one of three unanimous selections to the All-NEC preseason team after averaging 18.9 points and 6.8 rebounds a season ago.

Robert Morris was the unanimous pick to win the NEC women’s basketball poll followed by Saint Francis while Sacred Heart and Mount St. Mary’s tied for third. Central Connecticut was picked to finish 10th.

Preseason All-NEC selection Adrianne Hagood returns to lead Sacred Heart after averaging 11.2 points per game as a sophomore, but the Pioneers lost the other three double-digit scorers. The Blue Devils will be led by Ashley Berube, who averaged 9.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. She led the team in field goal percentage (.514) and with 49 blocks.

NORTHEAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON MEN’S BASKETBALL POLL

(first place votes in parenthesis)

1. LIU (5)

2. Sacred Heart (3)

3. Saint Francis U (1)

4. Fairleigh Dickinson (2)

5. Robert Morris

6. Bryant

7. Mount St. Mary’s

8. St. Francis Brooklyn

9. Wagner

10. Central Connecticut

11. Merrimack

MEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON ALL-NEC TEAM

E.J. Anosike, Sacred Heart, Jr., F; Keith Braxton, Saint Francis, Sr, G; Raiquan Clark, LIU, Sr, G/F; Adam Grant, Bryant, Sr, G; Jahlil Jenkins, Fairleigh Dickinson, Jr, G

NORTHEAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON WOMEN’S BASKETBALL POLL

(first place votes in parenthesis)

1. Robert Morris (10 - unanimous)

2. Saint Francis U

3. (tie). Mount St. Mary’s, Sacred Heart

5. (tie). Bryant, St. Francis Brooklyn

7. Wagner

8. LIU

9. Fairleigh Dickinson

10. Central Connecticut

11. Merrimack

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON ALL-NEC TEAM

Nneka Ezeigbo, Robert Morris, Sr, C, 6-2; Adrianne Hagood, Sacred Heart, Jr, G, 5-8; Sydney Holloway, Bryant, Sr, G/F; Jade Johnson, St. Francis Brooklyn, Sr, G; Brandy Thomas, LIU, So, G.