Bowie State enters the season ranked 8th in the Division II national preseason poll.
The Bulldogs reached the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament last season and won the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association North Division title with a 11-1 record.
Bowie State has four returning seniors, including senior 7-foot center Travis Hyman, who led the league with 104 blocks. He also averaged 15.2 points, earning the CIAA Defensive Player of the Year.
Also returning is senior point guard Darren Clark, who started 28 of 29 games and averaged 15.1 points. Senior guard Jay Gavin started 25 games and averaged 8.6 points.
Junior Branden Doughty will also play a vital role after transferring from Coppin Sate, as will Hagerstown Community College transfers Demeatric Scott (6-7, 210) and Najee White (6-8, 238),
The Bulldogs led the CIAA in scoring at 81.3 points per game while allowing 74.8 points per game. Bowie State led the conference in blocks last season with 163. The Bulldogs open the regular season at the Clarion Classic against West Virginia State University on Friday.
Coach: Webb Hatch (13 seasons, 157-162)
Last season: 11-14 overall, 6-10 Capital Athletic Conference
Outlook: Hatch became the school's all-time wins leader with a victory over Stevenson in mid-January last season. Frostburg, which finished seventh last season, will be led by senior forwards Maurice Williams (11.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and Bradley Nunn (5.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and junior forward DeSean Antoine (12.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg).
Coach: Leonard Trevino (22nd year, 254-280)
Last season: 6-15 overall, 4-10 Landmark Conference
Outlook: The Gophers should be on the upswing this season with the return of some of their top scorers from last year. Junior Trae Lindsay (Patapsco) returns after appearing in all 21 games, earning a spot on the All-Landmark Second Team. He led the team with 12.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game and broke the Goucher men's basketball program's single-season and career records for blocked shots with 50. Senior guard Shane Yomber also is back after averaging 12 points.
Coach: Tom Dickman (ninth season, 112-94)
Last season: 13-13 overall, 8-8 Capital Athletic Conference.
Outlook: The Blazers return a solid corp of players from last season, including sophomore Cameron Cook (Calvert Hall), who started all 26 games and had a league-best 69 3-pointers. Junior Justin Stone is back after starting all 26 games on the season and scoring in double digits nine times. He was fourth on the team in scoring with 7.9 points per game and was second on the team in rebounds with 6.1 per game. Senior guard Brenden Straughn returns after averaging 12.3 points. Hood will play in the new, 41,000-square-foot BB&T Arena.
Coach: Bill Nelson (26th season, 399-253)
Last season: 7-18 overall, 5-13 Centennial Conferece
Outlook: Johns Hopkins will be led by Tim McCarty, who started all 25 games and was named to the Capital One Academic All-America team last season. McCarty led the team in rebounding (5.7 rpg) and was third in scoring (7.0 ppg). He also led the team in free-throw attempts (117) and free throws made (78). The Blue Jays are expecting a big season from sophomore guard Daniel Corbett, who started 19 games and led the team in assists (49). He was third on the team in minutes played.
Coach: Kevin Curley (fifth season, 54-49 overall)
Last season: 13-13 overall, 10-8 Centennial Conference
Outlook: The Green Terror should compete for their fourth playoff appearance in five years under Curley. Top returnees include senior guard Devon Lesniak, who was named second-team All-CAC last season. Seniors Louis Sarris-Grau and Cullen Murray-Kemp should provide a spark. Junior guard Tyler Rudd and sophomore forward Evan Pupelis should also get quality playing time.
Coach: Chris Harney (seventh season, 116-54)
Last season: 25-6 overall, 14-2 Capital Athletic Conference
Outlook: Expectations are high in St. Mary's City as the Seahawks enter the season ranked fifth by Basketball Times and No. 15 in the D3hoops.com's preseason poll. St. Mary's had advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in three of the past four years and reached the Elite Eight last season. Junior captain Devin Spencer (Towson Catholic) is back after playing in all 25 games last season. He scored 25 points in a 77-70 loss to Division I St. John's in this year's season opener. The Seahawks will get a boost with the return of Mikey Fitzpatrick, who started the first seven games last season before redshirting with a hand injury. He averaged 8.3 points and 3.1 rebounds over that stretch.
Coach: Josh Merkel (First season)
Last season: 12-15 overall, 6-10 Capital Athletic Conference