Coastal men predicted to place second in Big South

The Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team was picked to finish second in the Big South Conference in a voting by a select panel of media and the conference coaches, the league office announced at its annual media day on Tuesday.

Coastal Carolina earned a total of 230 points and claimed five first-place votes to finish 27 points behind UNC Asheville. The Bulldogs, who won the 2011 Big South Tournament, claimed 18 first-place votes and 257 total points.

VMI was predicted to finish in third place and accumulated 193 points to go along with one first-place vote, while Liberty finished slightly behind gathering 190 points. High Point, picked to finish in sixth place in the league standings, earned one first-place vote.

Matt Dickey of UNC Asheville was tabbed Big South Preseason Player of the Year while Jesse Sanders of Libety, Al’Lonzo Coleman from Presbyterian College, Nick Barbour from High Point and J.P. Primm of UNC Asheville round out the 2011-12 All-Conference Team.

Last season, the Chanticleers won the Big South Conference regular season title for the second time in as many years finishing with a 28-6 overall record and a 16-2 mark in league play to set a school record for most conference victories, surpassing a 15-3 record during the 2009-10 season.

Coastal returns junior forward Sam McLaurin who currently ranks second on the Coastal Carolina career blocked shots list, 23 behind Joseph Harris who recorded 142 while playing for the Chants. In addition to McLaurin, junior guard Anthony Raffa returns as the top scorer for Coastal after averaging 11.7 points per game. Junior guard Kierre Greenwood will be back after suffering a season ending injury after averaging 4.0 assists per game a season ago.

The Chanticleers reached the championship game of the Big South Tournament and earned a berth in the NIT for the second consecutive year.

Coastal opens the 2011-12 campaign at home against Covenant on November 11.

2011-12 Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll

1. UNC Asheville (18) 257

2. COASTAL CAROLINA (5) 230

3. VMI (1) 193

4. Liberty 190

5. Winthrop 160

6. High Point (1) 135

7. Presbyterian 134

8. Charleston Southern 117

9. Campbell 116

From staff reports / Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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