Chattanooga & Davidson Tabbed Preseason Favorites
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 10/26/2011
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ASU's Omar Carter
Courtesy: Southern Conference

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Chattanooga and Davidson are the favorites to capture the Southern Conference's divisional men's basketball titles in 2011-12, according to a vote by the leagues head coaches.  Appalachian State senior guard Omar Carter was also named the SoCon Preseason Player of the Year as part of the preseason all-conference team.  Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team or student-athletes as part of the balloting.

Davidson returns 11 lettermen and four starters for 2011-12.  The Wildcats posted an overall record of 18-15 (10-8 SoCon) and advanced to the second round of the College Basketball Invitational a season ago.  Davidson earned ten first-place votes and finished the balloting with 65 points.  College of Charleston earned the final two first-place votes in the South Division and finished with 56 points.  Georgia Southern was tabbed third (42) ahead of Furman (34).  Wofford (32) was selected fifth with The Citadel (17) rounding out the South Division.

After finishing tied for first in the North Division last year, the Chattanooga Mocs were picked first for the 2011-12 season.  The Mocs boast four starters off last year's team that posted a 12-6 mark in league play.  UTC captured nine first-place votes and led the North Division with 64 total points.  Appalachian State (51) earned two first-place votes and finished third while Western Carolina (44) grabbed the final first-place vote in the North Division.  UNCG (42) was slotted fourth, while Elon (29) and Samford (16) rounded out the North Division.

In addition to the preseason polls, the coaches selected an all-conference team.  Carter is the league's leading returning scorer from last season (16.3 ppg) and was a first team all-conference selection.  Davidson, College of Charleston and Chattanooga each placed a pair on the all-conference team.  Juniors Jake Cohen and JP Kuhlman garnered preseason plaudits for Davidson, while College of Charleston was represented by Trent Wiedeman and Antwaine Wiggins.  Seniors Keegan Bell and Omar Wattad from Chattanooga were named preseason All-SoCon.  They were joined by Willie Powers III (Georgia Southern), Drew Spradlin (Elon) and Trey Sumler (Western Carolina).

The regular season opens Friday, November 11 as ten Southern Conference teams take the floor that evening.  Furman travels to Elon November 30th in the first league contest.  The Southern Conference Tournament will be held March 2-5, 2012 in Asheville, N.C.

SoCon Men's Basketball Predicted Order of Finish

North Division

Team (1st Place Votes)        Total
1. Chattanooga (9)               64
2. Appalachian State (2)      51
3. Western Carolina (1)        44
4. UNCG                            42
5. Elon                               29
6. Samford                         16

Team (1st Place Votes)        Total
South Division
1. Davidson (10)                   65        
2. College of Charleston (2)   56
3. Georgia Southern             42
4. Furman                           34
5. Wofford                           32
6. The Citadel                      17

2011-12 Preseason All-Conference Team
Keegan Bell, Chattanooga
Omar Carter, Appalachian State
Jake Cohen, Davidson
JP Kuhlman, Davidson
Willie Powers III, Georgia Southern
Drew Spradlin, Elon
Trey Sumler, Western Carolina
Omar Wattad, Chattanooga
Trent Wiedeman, College of Charleston
Antwaine Wiggins, College of Charleston

2011-12 Preseason Player of the Year
Omar Carter, Appalachian State 


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