SoCon media picks Elon to win title
by Staff Reports
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The Southern Conference media has selected Elon as the preseason favorite for the upcoming 2013-14 men's basketball season.
The Phoenix narrowly edged last year's tournament-champion Davidson Wildcats for the top spot. Elon earned 270 points and garnered 14 first-place votes, while Davidson was a close second with 268 points on the strength of 12 first-place votes.
The North and South Divisions were eliminated after College of Charleston moved to the Colonial Athletic Association. There are 11 teams in the SoCon this season.
Wofford slipped past Appalachian State for the fifth spot. The Terriers garnered 165 points, with the Mountaineers just one point behind. Wofford returns all five starters from a season ago, while Appalachian State returns four starters from last year's team, which advanced to the semifinals of the Southern Conference tournament.
Western Carolina was slotted in third place with 233 points. The Catamounts return 12 lettermen and all five starters from last year. Samford was tabbed fourth (176) as coach Bennie Seltzer enters his second year on the bench with the Bulldogs.
Chattanooga was picked seventh (161) in the preseason poll. The Mocs are under first-year head coach Will Wade, who takes the reigns at Chattanooga after serving as an assistant coach at VCU.
UNCG was picked eighth with 98 points. Head coach Wes Miller enters his second full season as head coach of the Spartans and brings six newcomers into the fold.
Furman (69) came in three points ahead of Georgia Southern (66). Both the Paladins and Eagles have new coaches this season as Niko Medved has taken over at Furman, while Mark Byington returns to the Southern Conference at Georgia Southern.
Byington previously served as an assistant at College of Charleston and was the interim head coach during the 2011-12 season. The Citadel rounded out the poll with 46 points.
The 2013-14 season begins Nov. 8 when all 11 Southern Conference teams take the floor. The 2014 Southern Conference championship will be held March 7-10 at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C.
SoCon Men's Basketball Predicted Order of Finish - Media Poll
Team (1st-Place Votes) Total
1. Elon (14) 270
2. Davidson (12) 268
3. Western Carolina 233
4. Samford 176
5. Wofford 165
6. Appalachian State 164
7. Chattanooga 161
8. UNCG 98
9. Furman 69
10. Georgia Southern 66
11. The Citadel 46