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Men's picked sixth, women eighth in America East Preseason Coaches' Poll, Billings named to the Preseason All-Conference Team

Men's preseason poll
Men's preseason all-conference team
Women's preseason poll
Women's preseason all-conference team

BOSTON, Mass--The America East Conference has released its preseason basketball poll and all-conference teams and the Binghamton men's team has been picked to finish sixth out of 10 teams while the women have been tabbed to come in eighth. In addition, seven-foot junior center Nick Billings (Kodiak, Alaska) has been named to the men's America East Preaseason All-Conference team.

In the men's poll, Binghamton received 46 votes, four behind fifth-place Stony Brook (50) and one ahead of seventh-place Maine (45). Defending champion Vermont is the preseason favorite, having received 74 votes. The Catamounts finished just two votes ahead of Boston and Northeastern, who tied for second with 72 votes. Hartford was fourth (50), while UMBC (20), Albany (16) and New Hampshire (15) rounded out places eight though 10.

Billings is joined on the men's all-conference team by Taylor Coppenrath of Vermont, who was last season's America East Conference Player of the Year, Rashad Bell of Boston University, T.J. Sorrentine of Vermont, Jerell Parker of Hartford and Jose Juan Barea of Northeastern. Billings was named the America East Conference Defensive Player of the Year last season and was also named second-team all-conference.

The Binghamton women's team received 25 votes, 10 behind seventh-place Stony Brook (25) and seven ahead of ninth-place Albany (18). Maine was picked first, with 81 votes, followed by defending champion Boston, who was second with 72 votes. Vermont (63 votes), New Hampshire (50), Northeastern (48) and Hartford (44) rounded out places three through six while UMBC was 10th with 13 votes.

Heather Ernest of Maine, Katie Terhune of Boston University, Maren Matthias of New Hampshire and Sherry Jordan of Stony Brook, all of whom were named first-team all-conference last season, were named to this year's preseason all-conference team. Aaron Yantzi of of Vermont, a second-team choice last year, was the fifth selection to the 2003-04 preseason team.

Binghamton's men's team tips off its season next Friday against St. Mary's (Calif.) at the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska. The starting time is 10 p.m. EST. The women's team opens up next Saturday at home against Syracuse at 1 p.m.



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