Team preview: Monmouth

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 20, 2004, 3:19 PM ET
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The Hawks will be looking to buck the odds when they take the court this season to defend their NEC Tournament title.

The league has not had a repeat champion since Rider in 1992-93 and 1993-94, but Monmouth believes it has the players to snap that streak

"I think our guys are ready to go," coach Dave Calloway said.

Monmouth got a head start on its title defense with a five-game trip to Spain this summer. However, the Hawks were without their best player, 6-7 senior forward Blake Hamilton, because of an injury. The first-team all-conference Hamilton (16.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg) broke his foot in the spring and Calloway held him out as a precaution.

"We are slowly getting him ready," Calloway said. "We want to make sure he's fully recovered."