CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Junior Sa'eed Nelson was named the Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year and the men's basketball team was picked to seventh in the preseason coaches poll.
Nelson led the Eagles in scoring last season (18.6) and is the top returning scorer in the league. Nelson set a League tournament first-round scoring record with 41 points. He shattered the previous record of 28 points, set by former Loyola Maryland forward Jarred Jones in 2014.
The junior point guard finished second in the Patriot League in assists (5.1 apg) and third in steals (1.8 spg) during the 2017-18 season.
Nelson is 15 points shy of joining the 1,000-point club, scoring 985 points through his first two seasons in Washington, D.C. His 14.9 points per game as a freshman in 2016-17 was tied for sixth in the League, helping him earn a spot on the all-rookie team.
Four of the five preseason all-League selections were on last season's All-Patriot League squad, including Nelson and Holy Cross senior forward and 2017-18 Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year Jehyve Floyd. Lehigh senior guard Lance Tejada and Colgate junior forward Will Rayman, both 2017-18 second-team picks made the preseason squad along with Bucknell senior forward Nate Sestina.
Lehigh earned 145 points and seven first-place votes to capture the top spot in the preseason poll for the third time in four seasons, while two-time defending League champion Bucknell finished with 140 points and eight first-place votes for second place. 2017-18 Patriot League runner-up Colgate received 130 points and three first-place votes, while Boston University picked up 121 points and two first-place votes to take third and fourth, respectively.
Voting for the Patriot League men's basketball preseason player of the year, all-League squad and poll were conducted by League head coaches and sports information directors. Neither group was permitted to vote for their own team or student-athletes.