SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Wofford Terriers have been tabbed the preseason favorite to win the Southern Conference men’s basketball title in 2014-15, according to a vote by the league’s head coaches. Wofford senior guard Karl Cochran was named the SoCon Preseason Player of the Year. Cochran was a first team all-conference selection and was named the SoCon tournament’s Most Outstanding Player in 2014. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams or student-athletes as part of the balloting.
Head coach Mike Young returns for his 13th season on the bench at Wofford and returns 11 lettermen, including all five starters, from last season’s team. The Terriers earned eight first-place votes and led the preseason balloting with 80 points.
Chattanooga was chosen second (70) and earned the remaining two first-place votes. Head coach Will Wade enters his second season at UTC. The Mocs went 12-4 in league play a season ago and return seven letterwinners.
League newcomer ETSU was tabbed third (65), while Mercer was picked fourth (54). Both the Bears and Buccaneers join the SoCon from the Atlantic Sun Conference. Mercer was 14-4 in league play a season ago, while ETSU was 10-8.
UNCG was slotted fifth with 51 points, while VMI (39) edged out Western Carolina (38) for the sixth spot. VMI rejoins the league after spending the past 11 years in the Big South Conference. Furman (24), under the direction of second-year head coach Niko Medved, was picked eighth, while The Citadel (16) and Samford (13) rounded out the poll.
The coaches also selected a 10-member preseason all-conference team. Cochran was joined on the team by teammates Spencer Collins and Lee Skinner. Eight of the league’s 10 teams had at least one representative on the preseason squad.
The Citadel’s Ashton Moore was named to the preseason all-conference team, along with ETSU’s Rashawn Rembert.
Furman’s Stephen Croone was named to the preseason team after earning all-conference honors last season. UNCG’s Tevon Saddler was named the league’s Freshman of the Year by the coaches last season and was selected to this year’s preseason team.
UTC’s Casey Jones, who earned all-conference honors a season ago, was selected to the preseason team, along with VMI sophomore QJ Peterson and Western Carolina senior James Sinclair.
All 10 Southern Conference teams will take the floor Nov. 14 to start the regular season. The 2015 Southern Conference tournament will be held March 6-9 at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C.
Predicted Order of Finish
Team (1st-Place Votes) Total
1. Wofford (8) 80
2. Chattanooga (2) 70
3. ETSU 65
4. Mercer 54
5. UNCG 51
6. VMI 39
7. Western Carolina 38
8. Furman 24
9. The Citadel 16
10. Samford 13
2014-15 Preseason All-Conference Team
Ashton Moore, The Citadel
Rashawn Rembert, ETSU
Stephen Croone, Furman
Tevon Saddler, UNCG
Casey Jones, Chattanooga
QJ Peterson, VMI
James Sinclair, Western Carolina
Karl Cochran, Wofford
Spencer Collins, Wofford
Lee Skinner, Wofford
2014-15 Preseason Player of the Year
Karl Cochran, Wofford