Despite losing two of the conference’s top players, Livingstone and Bowie State have been chosen of the head of their classes in the CIAA. Livingstone, the defending CIAA Tournament Champion, was predicted to repeat as Southern Division Champs while Bowie State earned the top-spot in the Northern Division’s predicted finish.
Livingstone will have to replace the All-CIAA guard combo of Mark Thomas and Jody Hill, both of which finished among the top five in the league in scoring last season. Bowie State will be without guard Ray Gatlin, who averaged just under 18 points last as a senior.
Here’s the entire men’s predicted finish:
1) Bowie State
2) The Lincoln University
3) Virginia State
4) Virginia Union
5) Elizabeth City State
2) Winston-Salem State
3) Fayetteville State
4) Johnson C. Smith
6) St. Aug
For a league with a lot of history, there’s a lot of new blood in the CIAA. Four of the conference’s 12 programs have new men’s head basketball coaches, and several players bring four or less players back from last season.
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The second annual Deacon Jones Trophy will be awarded in Feb. 2018.