SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference media has selected Wofford as the preseason favorite for the upcoming 2014-15 men’s basketball season. The Terriers, who were also picked first in the coaches poll, earned 23 of 26 first-place votes and finished with 252 points. The Chattanooga Mocs picked up two first-place votes and were tabbed second in preseason balloting.
ETSU was slotted in third place with 204 points. The Buccaneers return nine lettermen from a team that advanced to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament a season ago. Mercer (189) earned the final first-place vote and was tabbed fourth. Along with the Bucs, the Bears also join the Southern Conference from the Atlantic Sun. Mercer went 14-4 in league play a season ago and knocked off Duke in the second round of the NCAA tournament in March.
VMI (152) was picked fifth by the league’s media. The Keydets returned to the Southern Conference this summer after spending 11 years in the Big South Conference.
Western Carolina (121) came in sixth after advancing to the Southern Conference Tournament title game a season ago. Head coach Larry Hunter enters his ninth season at the helm in Cullowhee, N.C., and his 21st year as a Division I head coach.
The UNCG Spartans (111) were picked seventh. Head coach Wes Miller returns eight letterwinners and three starters for 2014-15.
Furman (66) edged Samford (65) for the eighth spot. The Paladins are under second-year head coach Niko Medved, while NBA veteran Scott Padgett takes over for the Bulldogs. The Citadel (44) rounded out the poll.
The 2014-15 season begins Nov. 14 when all 10 Southern Conference teams take the floor. The 2015 Southern Conference Championship will be held March 6-9 at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C.
SoCon Men’s Basketball Predicted Order of Finish – Media Poll
Team (1st-Place Votes) Total
1. Wofford (23) 252
2. Chattanooga (2) 226
3. ETSU 204
4. Mercer (1) 189
5. VMI 152
6. Western Carolina 121
7. UNCG 111
8. Furman 66
9. Samford 65
10. The Citadel 44