River Hawks Earn Best AE Preseaon Ranking Ever at No. 3

River Hawks Earn Best AE Preseaon Ranking Ever at No. 3

BOSTON, Mass. – Coming off of their best season at the Division I level yet, the UMass Lowell River Hawks were picked third in the 2020-21 America East Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Additionally, junior guard Kharis Idom was named to the Preseason All-Conference Team, as announced by the league office on Tuesday.

The River Hawks received 62 points to earn their highest placement in the America East Preseason Poll since joining the conference in 2013-14. Last year, Head Coach Tom Garrick‘s squad compiled a Division I program record 16-15 overall record, including an 11-5 mark in conference games and the team’s first DI post-season victory.

“Polls are projections, nothing more,” said Garrick. “We didn’t pay attention when we were picked last in 2019-20, so it’d be hypocritical to pay attention now. We’ll continue to work hard and control what we can control.”

2018-19 America East Champion Maine earned six first-place votes and 78 points to take the top spot in this year’s poll. Last year’s regular-season champion Stony Brook picked up the remaining four first-place votes and 76 points to finish just ahead of UMass Lowell in second, while UAlbany (54 points) placed behind the River Hawks in fourth. Binghamton and UMBC placed tied for fifth in this year’s preseason poll with 43 points apiece. Vermont followed with 36 points to take the seventh spot, while Hartford (24 points), New Hampshire (23 points), and league newcomer NJIT (11 points) rounded out the standings.

Individually, Idom earned her first Preseason All-Conference nod. As a sophomore, she paced the River Hawks with 12.3 points per game, while also averaging 4.7 rebounds with 66 total assists and 52 steals in 2019-20.

UMass Lowell opens the 2020-21 America East season on the road at Vermont on Saturday, December 19.

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