ETSU men picked fourth in preseason polls
ETSU men picked fourth in preseason polls
Thursday, October 22, 2015

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 22, 2015) – The ETSU men’s basketball team has been picked to finish fourth in the Southern Conference standings by both the league’s coaches and media, according to the preseason polls released by the league office on Thursday.

While Chattanooga was tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the league and the Mocs’ Casey Jones was selected as the preseason player of the year, ETSU junior guard A.J. Merriweather (Jackson) was named to the SoCon preseason all-conference team. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams or student-athletes as part of the balloting.

At Chattanooga, first-year head coach Matt McCall inherits a team that finished 22-10 (15-3 SoCon) last season and returns nine letterwinners, including four starters. The Mocs earned seven first-place votes and led the preseason balloting with 78 points.

Wofford was chosen second (74) and received two first-place votes. Head coach Mike Young guided the Terriers to a 28-7 mark last year. Wofford won the Southern Conference tournament for the second consecutive year after finishing league play with a 16-2 record.

Mercer was tabbed third (59) and earned the final first-place vote. ETSU, under the direction of first-year head coach Steve Forbes, was picked fourth (55), just four points ahead of Furman (51). The Paladins finished league play with a 5-13 mark last year but advanced to the tournament title game before falling to Wofford.

UNCG was slotted sixth with 42 points, while Samford was picked seventh (34). Western Carolina (27), The Citadel (16) and VMI (14) rounded out the poll.

The coaches also selected a 10-member preseason all-conference team. Jones was joined on the team by teammate Justin Tuoyo. Eight of the league’s 10 teams had at least one representative on the preseason squad.

Merriweather was named to the preseason all-conference team, along with Furman’s Stephen Croone.

UNCG placed a pair on the preseason team as the Spartans were represented by Kayel Locke and Tevon Saddler. Samford’s Darius Jones-Gibson was selected to the preseason team along with VMI’s QJ Peterson, Western Carolina’s Mike Brown and Wofford’s Spencer Collins.

Six of the 10 Southern Conference teams will take the floor Nov. 13 to start the regular season. The 2016 Southern Conference Championship presented by General Shale will be held March 4-7 at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C.


Coaches Poll Predicted Order of Finish

Team (1st-Place Votes)        Total

  1. Chattanooga (7) 78
  2. Wofford (2) 74
  3. Mercer (1) 59
  4. ETSU 55
  5. Furman 51
  6. UNCG 42
  7. Samford 34
  8. Western Carolina 27
  9. The Citadel 16
  10. VMI 14


SoCon Men’s Basketball Predicted Order of Finish – Media Poll

Team (1st-Place Votes)        Total

  1. Chattanooga (18) 266
  2. Wofford (9) 250
  3. Mercer             194
  4. ETSU             186
  5. Furman (1) 167
  6. Western Carolina 157
  7. Samford 114
  8. UNCG 98
  9. The Citadel 56
  10. VMI             54


2015-16 Preseason All-Conference Team

A.J. Merriweather, ETSU

Stephen Croone, Furman

Kayel Locke, UNCG

Tevon Saddler, UNCG

Darius Jones-Gibson, Samford

Casey Jones, Chattanooga

Justin Tuoyo, Chattanooga

QJ Peterson, VMI

Mike Brown, Western Carolina

Spencer Collins, Wofford


2015-16 Preseason Player of the Year

Casey Jones, Chattanooga