Men's Basketball Preseason Team & Poll Announced
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 10/26/2016
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UTC's Tre' McLean
Courtesy: Southern Conference

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Chattanooga Mocs have been tabbed the preseason favorite to win the Southern Conference men’s basketball title for the second consecutive season, according to a vote by the league’s head coaches. UTC senior forward Tre’ McLean was named the SoCon Preseason Player of the Year. A 2016 all-conference selection, McLean led the Mocs’ starters in scoring (12.1 ppg) and rebounding (6.3 rpg) last season. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams or student-athletes as part of the balloting.

Head coach Matt McCall returns four starters and seven lettermen from a team that finished 29-6 a season ago and posted a 15-3 mark in conference play. In addition to winning the league’s regular-season crown, the Mocs won the Southern Conference tournament and earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament in 2016. Chattanooga was picked first in preseason balloting with 80 points on the strength of eight first-place votes.

ETSU was slotted second (74) and received two first-place votes. Head coach Steve Forbes led the Bucs to a 24-12 mark in his first season at ETSU. The Bucs went 14-4 in league play and advanced to the title game of the league tournament. ETSU advanced to the postseason in 2016 and participated in the Vegas 16 tournament.

Wofford (57) edged Mercer (55) for third place in the preseason balloting. Furman and UNCG tied for fifth place with 50 points apiece.

Samford was slotted seventh (32), while Western Carolina came in eighth (20). VMI (19) and The Citadel (13) rounded out the poll.

The coaches also selected a 10-member preseason all-conference team. McLean was joined on the team by teammates Casey Jones and Justin Tuoyo. Seven of the league’s 10 teams had at least one representative on the preseason squad.

ETSU placed T.J. Cromer and Hanner Mosquera-Perea on the preseason all-conference team. Furman’s Devin Sibley, Mercer’s Stephon Jelks, UNCG’s R.J. White, VMI’s QJ Peterson and Wofford’s Fletcher Magee all earned spots on the preseason squad.

Eight of the 10 Southern Conference teams will take the floor Nov. 11 to start the regular season. The 2017 Southern Conference Championship presented by General Shale will be held March 3-6 at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C.

Predicted Order of Finish
Team (1st-Place Votes)        Total
1. Chattanooga (8)                80
2. ETSU (2)                         74
3. Wofford                           57
4. Mercer                            55
5. Furman                           50
  UNCG                              50
7. Samford                         32
8. Western Carolina             20
9. VMI                                19
10. The Citadel                    13

2016-17 Preseason All-Conference Team
T.J. Cromer, ETSU
Hanner Mosquera-Perea, ETSU
Devin Sibley, Furman
Stephon Jelks, Mercer
R.J. White, UNCG
Casey Jones, Chattanooga
Tre’ McLean, Chattanooga
Justin Tuoyo, Chattanooga
QJ Peterson, VMI
Fletcher Magee, Wofford

2016-17 Preseason Player of the Year
Tre’ McLean, Chattanooga

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