Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Favorite Morgan State — The defending champs return only two starters, guard Reggie Holmes and forward Kevin Thompson, but coach Todd Bozeman reloaded with reserves who waited their turns and a few talented newcomers.
The contenders South Carolina State — An immense roster makeover for the MEAC regular-season runners-up (seven new players), but that didn't stop the Bulldogs from being picked second.
Norfolk State — All-conference guard Michael Deloach is worth the ticket price and is the centerpiece of a team that went to the tournament final last year and filled holes with transfers and freshmen.
Hampton — First-year coach Ed "Buck" Joyner Jr. inherits a decent nucleus in guards Vinny Simpson and Darrion Pellum and forward Michael Freeman. The death of captain Theo Smalling provides a cause.
Games to watch Morgan State at Louisville, 1 p.m., Nov. 22; Morgan State at Hampton, 7:30 p.m., Jan. 11;
S.C. State at Morgan State, 7 p.m., Feb. 15.
Players to watch Michael Deloach, Norfolk State (Sr., 6-1 G, 21.5 ppg, 4.9 rpg, .455 FG pct); Reggie Holmes, Morgan State (Sr., 6-4 G, 16.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg); Jason Flagler, South Carolina State (Sr., 6-4 G/F, 12.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg).
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