Men's basketball picked fourth in preseason polls
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Men's basketball picked fourth in preseason polls

Most players and fans don’t read into the color of a team’s shoes, but men’s basketball coach Scott Sanderson is known for being a little superstitious.

When the team’s shoes arrived this fall, he was thrilled to learn that the Bisons would take the court in white shoes for the first time since they played in the National Invitational Tournament.

Then the Bisons were picked fourth in both the coaches and media preseason polls released Wednesday by the Atlantic Sun Conference.

Lipscomb was also picked fourth in the 2005-2006 poll before winning the A-Sun regular season title earning a bid to face UTEP in the NIT.

“Most of the time teams are picked by the success of the team in the previous year and the amount of players coming back,” said Sanderson.

The Bisons are coming off a 15-16 season and are only returning two upperclassmen.

While the roster may look short on experience, Sanderson is quick to point out that the sophomore class led by Adnan Hodzic, Brandon Brown, and Josh Slater, served as a cornerstone of last year’s team.

“We have a lot of guys back that have played significant minutes in significant games,” said Sanderson. “We’ll also get Michael Teller back who as a freshman played 17 minutes per game.

“This is someone else’s opinion which in reality doesn’t mean anything. Whether you are picked first or last, the proof is in what you do during the season. “

The Bisons will open their season on November 4 in an exhibition against Freed-Hardeman in Allen Arena.

Belmont received seven first place votes with 133 overall points in the coaches poll. ETSU and Jacksonville were tied for second place receiving 104 points each. ETSU received two first place votes and Jacksonville received one. Mercer, who was picked to finish sixth, received the final first place vote.

In the media poll Belmont received twenty five first place votes. Jacksonville was second with five first place votes and ETSU was third with the final three first place votes.

ETSU’s Courtney Pigram was picked as the A-Sun preseason Player of the Year.

The Atlantic Sun Tournament returns to Lipscomb’s Allen Arena March 4-9.

2008 Men's Basketball A-Sun Preseason Coaches Poll
# School (1st Place Vote) Points
1. Belmont (7) 113
T2. ETSU (2) 104
T2. Jacksonville (1) 104
4. Lipscomb 87
5. Stetson 76
6. Mercer (1) 74
7. Campbell 55
8. Kennesaw State 38
9. Florida Gulf Coast 32
10. USC Upstate 24
11. North Florida 19

Tournament Champion: Belmont

2008 A-Sun Preseason All-Conference Team
Pos. Player (Yr.) School
G Garfield Blair (Sr.) Stetson
G/F Shane Dansby (Sr.) Belmont
G Courtney Pigram (Sr.) ETSU
F Jonathan Rodriguez (Jr.) Campbell
G Ben Smith (Jr.) Jacksonville

Preseason Player of the Year: Courtney Pigram, Senior, ETSU

2008 Men's Basketball A-Sun Preseason Media Poll
# School (1st Place Vote) Points
1. Belmont (25) 348
2. Jacksonville (5) 316
3. ETSU (3) 305
4. Lipscomb 245
5. Stetson 240
6. Mercer 183
7. Campbell 163
8. Kennesaw State 145
9. Florida Gulf Coast 106
10. USC Upstate 77
11. North Florida 50

Tournament Champion: Belmont