CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charleston Southern was picked to finish eighth in the Big South Conference men’s basketball preseason poll, announced Monday at the 2015-16 Basketball Tip-Off Media Breakfast.
High Point received 17 of the 31 first-place votes from the panel and was picked to win the Big South. The Panthers shared a 13-5 league record with CSU last season, but the Bucs won the regular season title by virtue of their three overtime win over the Panthers.
Coastal Carolina, the two-time defending Big South Tournament champion, earned ten first-place votes and was tabbed second in the poll. Winthrop was picked third. CSU was the only team outside of the top-three to receive a first-place vote.
CSU head coach Barclay Radebaugh has directed his program to Big South regular season titles two of the last three years. The Bucs graduated five seniors off last year’s squad, and will look for expanded contributions from returners that were part of the winningest regular season in program history. Radebaugh is also enthused about a group of freshmen and transfers that will strive to surpass outside expectations.
“I have a ton of confidence in this team,” Radebaugh said. “The people who voted in the poll don’t have any idea who this team is and how hard they’ve worked, and I wouldn’t expect them to know but what I’m most concerned with is that we know. We know what we have and how hard we’ve worked. I’m looking forward to this team having the opportunity to earn the respect of the Big South.”
Radford, Gardner-Webb and Longwood were selected in the four through six slots of the poll. UNC Asheville was picked seventh, while CSU received one first-place vote and 140 points overall in being tabbed eighth. Presbyterian, Campbell and Liberty rounded out the poll.
High Point redshirt senior forward John Brown was named Big South Preseason Player of the Year for the third consecutive season. Brown was the 2014 Big South Player of the Year.
CSU opens the season at Wichita State on Friday, Nov. 13. The Bucs tip off their home schedule against Johnson & Wales (N.C.) on Wednesday, Nov. 18. CSU highlights its out-of-conference schedule with four games as part of the NIT Season Tip-Off, including a Nov. 24 home matchup with ETSU. The Big South slate starts on Wednesday, Dec. 2, as CSU hosts Winthrop.
The entire Big South Conference Preseason Poll and Preseason All-Conference Team are below.
2015-16 Big South Conference Preseason Poll
Rk Team (first-place votes) Points
1. High Point (17) 320
2. Coastal Carolina (10) 301
3. Winthrop (3) 281
4. Radford 188
5. Gardner-Webb 187
6. Longwood 172
7. UNC Asheville 164
8. Charleston Southern (1) 140
9. Presbyterian College 132
10. Campbell 119
11. Liberty 42
Big South Preseason All-Conference Team
John Brown, High Point, R-Sr., F (6-8, 210 – Jacksonville, Fla.)
Elijah Wilson, Coastal Carolina, Jr., G (6-4, 205 – Wilmington, N.C.)
DeSean Murray, Presbyterian College, Soph., F (6-5, 225 – Stanley, N.C.)
Tyrell Nelson, Gardner-Webb, Jr., F (6-7, 235 – Charlotte, N.C.)
Keon Johnson, Winthrop, Jr., G (5-7, 160 – Mansfield, Ohio)
Lotanna Nwogbo, Longwood, R-Sr., F/C (6-8, 255 – Lithonia, Ga.)
Badou Diagne, Coastal Carolina, Sr., F (6-7, 220 – Dakar, Senegal)
Adam Weary, High Point, Sr., G (6-3, 205 – Memphis, Tenn.)
Xavier Cooks, Winthrop, Soph., G/F (6-8, 185 – Wollongong, New South Wales)
D.J. Mason, Campbell, Sr., F (6-6, 220 – Clarkton, N.C.)