Oct. 10, 2007
The Lipscomb Bisons have been picked to finish fourth in the Atlantic Conference during the regular season.
ETSU, last season's regular season champion, is picked to repeat with six first place votes from the conference coaches in the annual preseason poll. Belmont received five first place votes and Mercer received one.
However, the tournament champion,which earns the A-Sun automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament was not as clear cut. ETSU, Belmont. Mercer and Lipscomb all received three votes.
The media vote was a little kinder to the Bisons. They were picked to finish third in the regular season and received on first place vote. The media selected ETSU as the clear-cut conference champion.
"Polls are just the opinions of coaches and the media," said Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson. "I don't put any stock in preseason polls at all. We don't even talk about it as a team. I did tell our players we have 12 teams in the conference and I hoped we were picked 14th."
The last time the Bisons were picked fourth was two season's ago. They won the regular season championship and went to the National Invitation Tournament. Last season they tied with Belmont for No. 1 in the preseason poll and finished third in the regular season.
"The only poll we are worried about is the one at the end of the season," Sanderson said. "Our focus is on winning three games in March in our conference tournament and going to the NCAA Tournament."
The men's tournament will be held at Lipscomb's Allen Arena March 5-8. The women's tournament is also being held at Allen Arena during the same three days. The Bisons were 13-1 at home last season.
Lipscomb senior forward Eddie Ard was selected as a member of the preseason All-Conference Team. Ard was a second-team All-Atlantic Sun Conference selection last season.
"We don't talk about individual awards, but we talk about team award," Sanderson sid. "No one is more of a team player than Eddie Ard. If we do well as a team then he will do well."