The Washington Times - October 23, 2008, 01:48PM

Just got back from Baltimore and Patriot League media day, where American (as expected) is the league favorite.

Jeff Jones‘ team brings back Derrick Mercer and Garrison Carr in the backcourt, though Bryce Simon remains out indefinitely as he rehabs from a knee injury suffered in the PL tournament last March.

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Navy did loseGreg Sprink, but not much else at all and still was picked sixth. That’s a bit of a puzzler for the Midshipmen, who were the No. 2 seed in last year’s conference tournament and shouldn’t be taking too much of a step back without Sprink.

I’ll pass along another nugget or two later, but here’s the preseason poll, with points listed after each team. The vote was done by league coaches and sports information directors, with American voted first on 14 of the 16 ballots. Holy Cross had the other two first-place votes.

1. American-98
2. Lehigh-75
3. Holy Cross-68
4. Colgate-67
5. Bucknell-47
6. Navy-46
7. Army-29
8. Lafayette-18

Patrick Stevens