Methodist, Maryville Picked as USA South Men's Basketball Favorites

Methodist, Maryville Picked as USA South Men's Basketball Favorites

(FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) – The USA South Athletic Conference's men's basketball coaches have released their 2017 preseason polls. Each divisional preseason poll only includes votes from coaches within that particular division-only. Head coaches do not vote for their own teams in the balloting. This is the first season that the Conference will split into divisions in the sport of men's basketball as the Conference welcomes new League members Berea College, Brevard College and Pfeiffer University. Brevard and Pfeiffer will not be included in the polls as they are each reclassifying from Division II and are not eligible championship honors this season. 

Chosen as USA South East Division favorites was Methodist University, led by 19-year head coach David Smith. The Monarchs posted a final record of 17-11 (9-5 USA South) and captured a share of the conference regular season championship with Averett University and Maryville College. As the second-seed, Methodist advanced to the USA South Tournament championship before ultimately falling to LaGrange College. The Monarchs received 25 total points and five first place votes in this year's preseason poll. Placing second with 20 points and the final first place vote was N.C. Wesleyan College. Averett University finished third with 17 points while Greensboro College followed in fourth with 11 points. Ferrum College with ten points and William Peace University with seven points rounded out the poll.

Placing atop the USA South West Division poll was Maryville College, led by head coach Randy Lambert in his 38th season. Last fall, the Scots earned an overall 20-7 record with a 9-5 mark in USA South play earning a share of the conference regular season championship with Averett and Methodist. As the third-seed, Maryville advanced to the USA South Tournament semifinals before falling to Methodist. The Scots received 25 total points and five first place votes in this year's preseason poll. Defending USA South Tournament Champions, LaGrange College, grabbed 20 points and the final remaining first place vote to rank second. Placing third in the poll with 16 points was Covenant College while Piedmont College followed in fourth with 13 points. Berea and Huntingdon College rounded out the poll with ten and six points, respectively.

The men's basketball regular season gets underway on Wednesday, November 15 as ten teams take on non-League opposition.

The 2018 USA South Men's Basketball Tournament will once again be conducted exclusively on campus sites. The top-four seeded teams from each division will advance to the tournament.

 

2017-18 USA South Men's Basketball Coaches Preseason Poll
East Division
Rank Institution (1st Place Votes) Pts.
1. Methodist (5) 25
2. N.C. Wesleyan (1) 20
3. Averett 17
4. Greensboro 11 
5. Ferrum 10
6. William Peace
--- *Pfeiffer -
*Ineligible for USA South Championship (Div. III Reclassifying Member)
2017-18 USA South Men's Basketball Coaches Preseason Poll
West Division
Rank Institution (1st Place Votes) Pts.
1. Maryville (5) 25
2. LaGrange (1)  20 
3. Covenant 16 
4. Piedmont 13 
5. Berea 10 
6. Huntingdon 
--- *Brevard -
*Ineligible for USA South Championship (Div. III Reclassifying Member)