Men's Basketball Picked to Finish Second in the South Atlantic ConferenceOctober 15, 2010
Young; Cornwell Earn Preseason All-Conference Honors
ANDERSON, S.C. – Following last season’s record-setting campaign, the Anderson men’s basketball team has been picked to finish second in its inaugural season in the South Atlantic Conference by the league’s coaches as released by the conference office Friday afternoon.
Lincoln Memorial, which finished fourth in the regular season and advanced to the conference tournament title game, received seven first-place votes (94 points) and is the choice to capture the 2010 SAC Championship. The Railsplitters’ D’Mario Curry was named to the preseason All-Conference first-team after earning All-SAC honors the past two seasons and ranking sixth in the league in scoring (16.9 ppg.) last season.
The Trojans are picked to finish second after collecting two first-place votes and tallying 79 points to edge Wingate. Last season AU got off to the best start in school history since becoming a four-year institution in the mid-90s, with the season culminating in a school-record 24 wins. The Trojans won 10 of their last 11 games en route to earning their first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament, with their nine-game win streak in late February equaling the longest in school history.
“Being selected second by the coaches is a nice recognition for what last year’s team accomplished and I appreciate the respect the SAC coaches have shown us,” said Anderson head coach Jason Taylor. “However, there is nothing in sports more irrelevant than preseason rankings. With two starters and two other invaluable players off the bench missing from last year’s team, we have a lot of work to do to fill some large voids. This team has to make its own mark, define who it is, and figure out what it is capable of accomplishing. Our goal is simple, get better today.”
Senior guard Brandon Young was selected to the league’s first team, while guard Kevis Cornwell earned second-team honors. Young, the team’s leading scorer a year ago, started all 32 games and became Anderson’s all-time leading scorer. The Belmont, N.C., native is just the fourth player in the history of Anderson University men's basketball to reach the 1,000-point milestone. Young drained the game-winning shot versus Catawba in the final moments of the Southeast Regional last season and was named to the NABC's All-Southeast Region Second Team after earning first-team all-conference honors.
Cornwell, a 6-foot-2 guard, led the team with 2.1 steals per contests and started 31 contests last season. He was named to the 2010 Conference Carolinas All-Tournament Team after the Trojans advanced to the title game and also earned NCAA All-Southeast Regional Tournament accolades.
“This recognition for Brandon and Kevis is well-deserved,” added Taylor. “I am very pleased that the league took the time to research these two young men and recognize them for the players that they are and for what they have been able to accomplish individually. They work hard and have a commitment to getting better every day that many players do not have. I am extremely happy for them and equally proud of them for the players they continue to become and the people that they are. They are a joy to coach, and I know that I can count on them every day in every way.”
With 73 points, the Bulldogs are predicted to finish third after posting a 14-14 record last season, with junior guard Jaime Vaughn representing WU on the preseason first-team. The Tallahassee, Fla., native averaged 11.7 points per contest for the ‘Dogs a year ago.
Catawba, the reigning regular-season champion, received the other first place vote following a season that saw the Indians earn their fourth straight trip to the NCAA regionals and sixth in the last seven years.
Newberry picked up 50 points to edge Tusculum for the fifth spot, with the Pioneers (48 points) in sixth just ahead of Mars Hill (47 points). The Lions’ Dion Malachi is a first-team All-SAC honoree.
Lenoir-Rhyne received 39 points for eighth place, while Carson-Newman (34 points) and Brevard (33), the 2010 conference tourney champion, rounded out the poll.
In a rematch of last season’s regional semifinals, The Trojans open the season against three-time defending Southeast Regional champion Augusta State at the SAC/Peach Belt Challenge, hosted by Tusculum on Nov. 12, then face Clayton State less than 24 hours later.
2010 SAC MEN’S BASKETBALL COACHES POLL
LMU (7) 94
Anderson (2) 79
Catawba (1) 53
Mars Hill 47
(First place votes in parenthesis)
2010 Men’s Basketball Preseason All-South Atlantic Conference
D.J. Blackmon, Lenoir-Rhyne
D’Mario Curry, Lincoln Memorial
Josh Roper, Brevard
Dion Malachi, Mars Hill
Jamie Vaughn, Wingate
Brandon Young, Anderson
Kevis Cornwell, Anderson
Desmond Johnson, Lincoln Memorial
Dominick Reid, Catawba
Ray Robinson, Newberry
Rob Troutman, Tusculum
Odell Turner, Wingate