Bucs picked to finish second in league; Belmont considered favorite
MACON, Ga. (Oct. 8, 2008) - For the second straight year, ETSU guard Courtney Pigram (Memphis) is the preseason pick by both coaches and the media to be the Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Year. Meanwhile, Pigram and the Buccaneers were picked to finish second by the coaches and third by the media in preseason A-Sun voting released Wednesday by the conference office.
Pigram, a senior shooting guard, was the 2007 A-Sun Player of the Year and is a two-time All A-Sun First Team Selection. He has scored 1,445 points in his career and led the Bucs in scoring last season with 15.8 a contest.
"Courtney has definitely been one of the best players in this league during his career," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. "We will be counting on him again this year to lead our guys. As a team, we think we have a good group and a lot of potential."
While Pigram topped the preseason's individual list, an unprecedented three straight conference championships and nine returning letter winners earned the Belmont Bruins the nod from both the coaches and the media as the preseason pick to win their second consecutive Atlantic Sun regular-season title as well as a fourth straight conference championship.
Meanwhile, ETSU's roster features a talented group of players including Pigram, who needs 555 points to join Centenary's Willie Jackson as just the second player in conference history to accumulate 2,000 points. Pigram and Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) represent one of the top returning duos in the conference. The two seniors combined to average over 30 points per game. Only one other school, Campbell, features two teammates that averaged as many points per game as did the Buccaneer pair. With 19 wins in 2007-08, Bartow increased his career total to 198. The second win he earns will make him the seventh current A-Sun coach with 200 coaching wins.
The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life, with a focus on academic and athletic integrity and a balance between the two for the student-athlete, and maintaining a high level of sportsmanship. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun encompasses six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun consists of some of the most dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.