Double Bullseye: Both Spartan Hoop Teams Picked Atop the SoCon
GREENVILLE, SC – If there was target practice at Southern Conference Basketball Media Day on Wednesday, the Spartans were definitely easily to pick out... they were the ones wearing the bullseye.
UNCG was the coaches’ pick to win the conference on the women’s side and was picked atop the North Division on the men’s side as part of the 2006 Southern Conference Basketball Media Day festivities. In addition, each team had two players selected to the 10-person preseason all-conference squads as Ricky Hickman, Kyle Hines, Kristen Boone and Jasmine Byrd were all honored.
On the men’s side, the College of Charleston (60 total votes) is the unanimous choice of the coaches to capture the South Division title, earning 10 first-place votes. Following the College of Charleston are Furman (one first place, 48 total votes), Georgia Southern (42), defending league champion Davidson (32), Wofford (24) and The Citadel (14).
UNC Greensboro, coming off of a 12-19 finish last year but returning four of five starters and 90 percent of its scoring from a year ago, earned four first place and a total of 44 votes to edge Appalachian State (two first place and 40 total votes) as the favorite in the North Division. It is the first time since 2002 that UNCG has been picked atop the North Division in the preseason selections. Elon (33) and Chattanooga (29) received two first place votes each and Western Carolina (14) was picked for fifth place.
Dontaye Draper of the College of Charleston and UNCG’s Kyle Hines head the preseason All-Southern Conference team. Each received 94 total votes. Other members of the preseason team include D.J. Thompson (Appalachian State), Ricky Hickman (UNC Greensboro), Robby Bostain (Furman), Chris Chalko (Elon), Louis Graham (Georgia Southern), Josh Jackson (College of Charleston), Moussa Diagne (Furman) and Donte Gennie (Georgia Southern).
On the women’s side, the Spartans are the preseason choice due in part to returning all five starters from a conference runner-up team a year ago that finished 18-12. UNCG’s top selection marked the first time since 1999 that Chattanooga is not the pre-season favorite, and the first time since 1999 that UNCG is the pre-season favorite. Th Spartans (five first place and 74 total votes) edged defending champion Chattanooga (four first place and 73 total vote) by just one vote. Davidson (one first place and 67 total votes) finished a close third.
Western Carolina (55) and Georgia Southern (44) round out the top half of the league. College of Charleston (37), Furman (34), Appalachian State (29), Elon (19) and Wofford (18) round out the league.
UNCG’s Kristen Boone (85) edged Chattanooga’s Alex Anderson (84) for the most votes on the preseason All-Southern Conference team. UNCG, Chattanooga and Davidson each landed two players on the preseason squad. Appalachian State, College of Charleston, Georgia Southern and Western Carolina each had one player named to the all-conference team.
Other members of the preseason all-conference squad include: Katie Hamilton (Davidson), Whitney Tossie (Appalachian State), Jessica Mitchell (Davidson), Jade Hughes (College of Charleston), Lauren Powell (Western Carolina), Jasmine Byrd (UNCG), Tiffany Brown (Georgia Southern) and Laura Hall (Chattanooga).
The UNCG women’s basketball team will host an exhibition game on Friday night against Catawba at 7 pm at Fleming Gym. The UNCG men’s squad will host an exhibition on Saturday against Belmont Abbey at 1 pm at Fleming Gym. Admission to both games will be free and open to the public.
- UNCG -