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NKU picked to finish near bottom of Atlantic Sun
MACON, Ga. (WKRC) -- Florida Gulf Coast has been selected by both the media and coaches as the men's basketball preseason favorite to win the Atlantic Sun Conference, the league office released Thursday.
Florida Gulf Coast (26-11 overall last season) edged Mercer (24-12 overall last season) to earn the favorites role in the two polls. The Eagles received six first-place votes and 95 total points in the coaches poll, while Mercer garnered three first-place votes and 92 total points.
Mercer captured the 2012-13 Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season title, but Florida Gulf Coast won the tournament championship and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The 15th-seeded Eagles then stunned both second-seeded Georgetown (D.C.) and seventh-seeded San Diego State en route to the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament.
USC Upstate is third in both polls, and Jacksonville rounds up the top four in the two polls. North Florida was picked fifth by the coaches and sixth by the media. The media poll has East Tennessee State selected to finish fifth, while the coaches have the Buccaneers at sixth. Stetson is picked seventh in both polls.
Northern Kentucky (11-16 overall last season, 9-9 A-Sun and fourth place) tied Lipscomb for eighth place in the media preseason poll. The coaches picked the Norse ninth in their poll.
USC Upstate's Torrey Craig is the preseason pick by the coaches as Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year, while Florida Gulf Coasts Chase Fieler earned the nod in the fan vote. Florida Gulf Coasts Bernard Thompson was voted the preseason Defensive Player of the Year by both the coaches and the fans.
Northern Kentucky, which returns one starter and five letterwinners, opens the season Nov. 8 with a road game at Purdue. The Norse visit Rupp Arena to meet Kentucky on Nov. 10.
Northern Kentucky begins its home schedule on Nov. 16 when San Diego visits The Bank of Kentucky Center at 7 p.m. The Norse also play host to Morehead State on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.
Atlantic Sun Conference preseason mens basketball coaches poll
Pl. Team (1st Place Votes) Points
1. FGCU (6) 95
2. Mercer (3) 92
3. USC Upstate 75
4. Jacksonville 63
5. North Florida (1) 58
6. ETSU 55
7. Stetson 37
8. Lipscomb 29
9. Northern Kentucky 24
10. Kennesaw State 22
Atlantic Sun Conference preseason men's basketball media poll
Pl. Team (1st Place Votes) Points
1. FGCU (16) 306
2. Mercer (15) 305
3. USC Upstate (1) 255
4. Jacksonville (1) 212
5. ETSU 161
6. North Florida 157
7. Stetson 132
8. Lipscomb 102
Northern Kentucky 102
10. Kennesaw State 83
Preseason Player of the Year: Torrey Craig, USC Upstate
Fan-Voted Preseason Player of the Year: Chase Fieler, Florida Gulf Coast
Defensive Player of the Year: Bernard Thompson, Florida Gulf Coast (Coaches and Fans)
Preseason All-Atlantic Sun Team
Pos. Name School Cl. Hometown
*G Brett Comer Florida Gulf Coast Jr. Winter Park, Fla.
*F Chase Fieler Florida Gulf Coast Sr. Parkersburg, W. Va.
*G Keith McDougald Jacksonville Sr. Jacksonville, Fla.
*PG Langston Hall Mercer Sr. Atlanta, Ga.
*F Torrey Craig USC Upstate Sr. Great Falls, S.C.
G Bernard Thompson Florida Gulf Coast Jr. Conyers, Ga.
C Daniel Coursey Mercer Sr. Savannah, Ga.
F Travis Wallace North Florida Sr. Marietta, Ga.
G Ty Greene USC Upstate Jr. Knoxville, Tenn.
F Ricardo Glenn USC Upstate Sr. Augusta, Ga.
- Denotes unanimous selection
Information from NKU Athletics