Mount Olive Is The Favorite In CVAC Men's Hoops

THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- Mount Olive College sits atop the 2005-2006 preseason poll as voted on by the conference coaches. Mount Olive begins the season ranked No. 5 in Street and Smith’s NCAA Division II Preseason Men’s Basketball Top 10 and No. 7 in the Division II Bulletin Preseason Top 25. Mount Olive returns four starters and, according to Street and Smith’s preview, “perhaps the best sixth man in the nation” in Elton Coffield, who was selected as a preseason All-American Honorable Mention member. Mount Olive (29-5) made its second consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and its first-ever trip to the Elite Eight last season. “Last year was a special season and I hope we can continue to build on that success, but we know we have to be ready to play every time we take the court," said Mount Olive head coach Bill Clingan. "As always, every game in the conference is going to be a dogfight. I believe our league is as good as there is in Division II.” Anderson College was picked eighth in the coaches' preseason poll. Pfeiffer University moves down one spot from last year's preseason poll to second in this year’s survey. The Falcons return eleven players who helped them win 27 games last year, including the CVAC Tournament championship, a share of the regular-season championship, and the opportunity to host the NCAA East Regional. The Falcons have some big shoes to fill with the graduation of two All-Americans from last year's team. Erskine College and Queens University of Charlotte tied for third in the poll. Experience should be a strong point for Erskine, which returns seven of its top eight players from last year. Two of those players are All-CVAC first-team pick Craig Williams and All-CVAC second team selection Reed Long. Queens returns three starters from last year’s squad which finished fourth. Rounding out the men's poll 5-11 are: Barton, Limestone, Belmont Abbey, Anderson, Lees-McRae, St. Andrews, and Coker respectively. CVAC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll (# of First place votes in parenthesis) 1. Mount Olive College (8) 98 2. Pfeiffer University (3) 91 T-3. Erskine College 73 T-3. Queens University of Charlotte 73 5. Barton College 56 6. Limestone College 52 7. Belmont Abbey College 51 8. Anderson College 49 9. Lees-McRae College 30 10. St. Andrews Presbyterian College 18 11. Coker College 14
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