CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Big South Conference held its annual Media Day Tuesday, during which the all-conference teams and projected order of finish as voted by media and coaches were presented. Some of the highlights include:
All-Big South First Team
Chris Clemons, Campbell, Sr., G (Player of the Year)
Ed Polite Jr., Radford, Sr., F
Christian Keeling, Charleston Southern, Jr., G
David Efianayi, Gardner-Webb, R-Sr., G
Jermaine Marrow, Hampton, Jr., G
All-Big South Second Team
Carlik Jones, Radford, R-So., G
Jahaad Proctor, High Point, R-Jr., G
Josh Ferguson, Winthrop, Jr., F
Isaiah Walton, Longwood, R-Sr., G
Deion Holmes, USC Upstate, Sr., G
2018-19 Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll
|Rk – Team (first-place votes)||Points|
|1 – Radford (28)||357|
|2 – Winthrop (2)||280|
|3 – Hampton (2)||253|
|4 – Campbell||239|
|5 – Charleston Southern||231|
|6 – Gardner-Webb (1)||230|
|7 – High Point||192|
|8 – UNC Asheville||151|
|9 – Presbyterian College||104|
|10 – Longwood||77|
|11 – USC Upstate||64|
Note: points are based on a weighted system. First-place votes received 11 points, followed by 10 points for second-place, and so on.
College Hoops Digest’s Brian Wilmer sat down with several of the league’s coaches for one-on-one interviews. Here are some of the highlights of those conversations, along with the audio:
LONGWOOD COACH GRIFF ALDRICH
Key takeaway: “We’re very transparent in our recruiting. One thing I say to almost every recruit is that Longwood is not for everyone, and everyone is not for Longwood. We believe that fit is everything. If you’re looking for a school that has 25,000 students, I can’t add 20,000 students […] I do feel that Longwood has a whole lot to sell. It’s a true hidden gem. I don’t think I’ve had one recruit come onto campus that hasn’t been shocked, and their expectations haven’t been exceeded.”
Hear more from Coach Aldrich on his transition to Longwood and head coaching, his time at UMBC, playing crosstown rival Hampden-Sydney, his unusual trajectory to becoming a head coach and who would play him in a movie about the Retrievers by clicking this link.
HIGH POINT COACH TUBBY SMITH
Key takeaway: “My wife, she was […] She said, ‘You know, Tubby, you’ve been a good husband, good provider, we’re set for the rest of our lives financially, our grandkids, we want to send them to school..’ She said, ‘But don’t forget the great grandkids. Take your [expletive] back to work.’ She went to school at High Point also, so that helps. She’s been a part of this journey since college.”
Hear more from Coach Smith on recruiting, his move back to High Point, and more by clicking this link.
GARDNER-WEBB COACH TIM CRAFT
Key takeaway: “If our team completely buys into team … If the individual parts can completely buy into not caring who gets the credit, not caring what their role is, but just that whatever their role is, they’re gonna do it to the absolute best of their ability, and they’re gonna do it every day. If we can have a group that does that […] For us to have a chance, we have to buy into being about our team and being about the daily process of winning.”
Hear more from Coach Craft on his talented newcomers, the offseason improvements from guard Christian Turner and several other key contributors, and the best advice he’s ever gotten from SID Marc Rabb by clicking this link.
PRESBYTERIAN COACH DUSTIN KERNS
Key takeaway: “We’ve got a great nucleus of guys that have been in our program and know what we like, know what we expect, and it’s been great for our five freshmen. The five freshmen have (come) in and really embraced them, as well, so it’s been a mutual relationship, connection. I think it’s been very helpful. I give our players and coaching staff a lot of credit for really helping connect our guys.”
Hear more from Coach Kerns on getting forward Francois Lewis back on the court, relying on youth to help change the direction of the program, the role of competitive scheduling as part of the process, and more by clicking this link.
WINTHROP COACH PAT KELSEY
Key takeaway: “Anytime you lose a great player and a great senior (Xavier Cooks) — great seniors, in Anders (Broman), as well — guys have to step up and fill their voids that they leave, and it’s just the nature of college basketball. Guys move on, guys graduate, and there’s a void on the court. You’ve gotta make up for their production in rebounds, in points, and et cetera, but you’ve gotta make up for their void in the locker room, as well. […] I like to think that the place we have our program today after six full seasons is that there’s a very, very strong culture in place, where the young guys are taught by the older guys, and the older guys teach the young guys the ropes, and how we work, and how we operate, and we have that.”
Hear more from Coach Kelsey about the evolution of forward Josh Ferguson and guard Adam Pickett, his excitement about freshman forward Michael Anumba, his most important recruit that will never put on a uniform, what it would take to hang another championship banner in the Winthrop Coliseum, and more by clicking this link.
CAMPBELL COACH KEVIN MCGEEHAN
Key takeaway: “I think that we have enough to be able to be one of the top teams in this league, and I think that there’s a really, really good chemistry on our group that we haven’t … I’ve been meeting with the guys each week, just having weekly check-in meetings, and every week, one of the things that I ask the veteran guys, the returners, is, ‘How are you feeling about the group?. Almost to a man, they just smile, like something’s a little different. I can feel it, but they’re feeling it, too. Just the togetherness, and the guys like being around each other, and I think that, in the end, that’s what takes you where you need to go.”
Hear more from Coach McGeehan on postseason play, the advice Chris Clemons received this offseason, the continued development of center Andrew Eudy, the difference in teaching and learning Campbell’s system, and more by clicking this link.
USC UPSTATE COACH DAVE DICKERSON
Key takeaway: “There’s only one way we’re going to sneak up on people. (If) we become a good defensive and rebounding basketball team, and a team that can take care of the basketball. If we can do those three things, we’re going to have a chance to be competitive a lot. That’s an ongoing, everyday battle that we have to make sure we fight. Our university’s slogan is ‘Up Is Where We Live’, but we have to come from the ground level, from a defensive standpoint, and from a rebounding standpoint, and from a taking care of the basketball standpoint to a level of the Big South. If we can get to that level — which would mean major, significant improvements — if we can get to that level, then we have a chance.”
Hear more from Coach Dickerson on coming home to coach, selling the students and community on his vision at Upstate, coaching Frank Martin’s son, and more by clicking this link.
To watch ESPN3’s replay of today’s events, click this link.