Johnson City, Tenn. (Oct. 8, 2002) - Numerous national college basketball preseason publications have chosen East Tennessee State to win the Southern Conference North Division in the 2002-03 season.
Athlon Sports, Lindy's and Street and Smith's all chose the Bucs to top the North Division. In addition to the team accolades, Buccaneer junior forwards Zakee Wadood (Lonoke, Ark.) and Jerald Fields (Gainesville, Fla.) received many individual honors.
Athlon Sports named Fields to their preseason all-conference team while Wadood was named to Street and Smith's team. Both players earned preseason all-conference honors from Lindy's while they named Fields as the best rebounder in the conference and Wadood as the best defender.
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.