ANDERSON, S.C. – The Anderson men’s basketball team has been named as a preseason “team to watch” by the Division II Bulletin, as the publication released its Preseason Top-25 on Monday.
“We appreciate the recognition,” said Anderson head coach Jason Taylor. “And we are grateful for all that the DII Bulletin does to publicize and promote Division II basketball.”
With four returning starters as a nucleus, including First-Team All-South Atlantic Conference selection Chandler Hash, it will be no surprise if the Trojans once again challenge for the top spot in the league during the 2013-14 campaign and make a run for their fourth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last five seasons.
Last season saw the Trojans post a 19-9 record, including a 14-4 conference mark, and earn the No. 2 seed in the Food Lion SAC Tournament before falling, 75-70, in overtime to eventual tourney champion Wingate.
Hash and Kyle Sledge, along with junior guards DJ McGowan and Myson Jones are among 12 returnees for Taylor. Hash started all 28 games a year ago and earned SAC Player of the Week accolades twice. He led the team in scoring on 15 occasions and led the SAC in free-throw accuracy (91.3 percent), while ranking third in the country in 3-point field goal percentage.
Sledge saw action in all 28 games, averaging 6.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per contest. The Powder Springs, Ga. native pulled down a team season-high 14 rebounds in the dramatic win at LMU and led the team in rebounding 13 times. McGowan, a 6-foot-2 guard, averaged 5.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, while Jones was fourth on the squad with his 8.8 points per game. He recorded a team season-high six assists at Mars Hill and a team season-high six steals at home versus the Lions.
Taylor, the NABC’s 2012 Southeast Region Coach of the Year, is entering his eighth season at the helm of the Trojan program and has guided AU to a 67-27 overall mark in three seasons in the league, including a 43-11 (.796) record in the SAC. The 43 victories rank second among schools in the conference.
Lincoln Memorial, last year’s South Atlantic Conference regular-season champion, was ranked 13th in the poll, while Carson-Newman checked in at No. 21.
The Eagles’ Antoine Davis was named a DII Super 16 selection by the publication. Davis, the SAC Player of the Year, averaged a conference-best 18.7 points per game for Carson-Newman, which reached the semifinal round of the SAC Tournament.
Anderson open the season with a three-game road swing, including two contests at the PBC-SAC Challenge, hosted by Georgia Regents University – Augusta, formerly Augusta State, on Nov. 9-10 at Christenberry Fieldhouse. The last appearance in Christenberry netted the Trojans their first-ever trip to the NCAA’s Elite Eight with a win in the 2011 NCAA Southeast Region Championship.
Division II Bulletin Preseason Poll