|College Basketball Team Previews: Coppin State Eagles|
By Kevin Heitz
Conference: Mid-Eastern Athletic
The Eagles won just three conference games in an 8-22 season that included a 13-game losing streak. On the bright side, the Eagles were 7-6 in their new arena. But simple math calculates they posted a 1-16 record away from West Baltimore.
Three starters return from last year's team, including MEAC All-Rookie team member Branden Doughty. Junior Michael Harper is the leading returning scorer after averaging 9.9 points, and senior Vince Goldsberry (8.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg) mans the backcourt. Senior Ceslovas Kucinskas made 15 starts last season, averaging 5.3 points and 3.5 rebounds.
Eight newcomers -- three freshmen and five transfers -- join the Eagles, including forwards Akeem Ellis and Osman Olol, and guard Tony Gallo.
There are three certainties in life -- death, taxes, and Coppin State playing a ridiculously-difficult non-conference schedule. This year, Mitchell's squad opened the season against the Oklahoma Sooners Nov. 12. The Eagles' schedule also includes a treacherous four-game road stretch in December with visits to UConn, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Texas.
Issue 155: November 2010