Monday, October 07, 2002Johnson City, Tenn. (Oct. 7, 2002) - From the league's basketball tip-off meetings in North Charleston, S.C., the Southern Conference men's basketball head coaches and media members each voted East Tennessee State to win the Southern Conference North Division in the 2002-03 season. The Bucs tallied 146 points in the media poll, receiving 22 of the 25 possible first place votes. ETSU was followed by UNC Greensboro (118), Davidson (108), VMI (68), Western Carolina (45) and Appalachian State (40) in the voting. In the coaches poll, ETSU was once again on top, earning 66 points and 11 of a possible 12 first place votes. UNC Greensboro (55), Davidson (41), VMI (30), Appalachian State (27) and Western Carolina (27) rounded out the poll. Georgia Southern (134) was the media pick in the South Division, while the Eagles and Furman (56) tied for first in the south in the coaches' poll. The Southern Conference also released the Preseason All-Conference men's basketball team, which included two Buccaneer forwards. The junior tandem of Jerald Fields (Gainesville, Fla.) and Zakee Wadood (Lonoke, Ark.) were both named to the team. VMI guard Jason Conley was named the SoCon Preseason Player-of-the-Year. Wadood was a 2001-02 all-conference selection after leading the SoCon with 9.2 rebounds per game and finishing second on the team with 14.8 points per game. Fields finished third on the team with 13.5 points per game and was an inside defensive force, breaking the school record with 56 blocks last season. His 2.0 blocks per game tied for 39th in the nation. East Tennessee State has recorded back-to-back 18-10 seasons, winning the Southern Conference North Division title in two consecutive seasons. The Bucs will open up their 2002-03 season on Nov. 22 at 7:30 p.m. against Guilford College in Johnson City, Tenn.
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