Oct. 12, 2010
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team was picked to finish first in the Big South Conference, while senior Chad Gray was tabbed preseason All-Big South in a voting by a select panel of media and the conference coaches the league office announced Tuesday.
Coastal Carolina earned a total of 206 points and claimed 10 first-place votes to finish slightly ahead of Winthrop. The Eagles, who won the 2010 Big South Tournament, garnered five first-place votes and 191 total points.
UNC Asheville was predicted to finish in third place and accumulated 181 points to go along with four first-place votes, while Presbyterian claimed four first-place votes and 159 total points and was picked to finish in fourth place. Liberty, picked to finish in sixth place in the league standings, earned one first-place vote.
It’s the first time since 1993-94 and the fourth time overall that the Chanticleers are the Big South’s preseason pick to win the league title.
“It’s an honor to be the preseason pick to win the Big South, but nothing is determined until we start playing games,” Coastal Carolina head coach Cliff Ellis said. “Last season we were picked eighth and we ended up winning the league, and I really feel like there is not one game in this league where one team won’t have a good chance to beat the other.”
Ellis’ Chanticleers won the Big South Conference regular season title last year after finishing the season with a 28-7 overall record and a 15-3 mark inside to league to set school records for both overall and conference victories.
The Chanticleers reached the championship game of the Big South Tournament and earned a berth in the NIT to reach the postseason for the first time since 1993.
Gray was one of just five players named to the preseason All-Big South Team. A native of Kingstree, S.C., Gray paced the Chanticleers and ranked seventh in the Big South a season ago with 14.3 points per game and stood fourth in the conference with a .515 field goal percentage en route to an All-Big South first team selection.
Gray turned in five games of at least 20 points, which included a career-high 31 points on 11-for-13 shooting against Savannah State. The South Carolina transfer was also third on the team with 4.8 rebounds per game and featured eight games with at least seven rebounds.
“Chad Gray is a really talented player who is going to be up for a lot of conference awards this season,” Ellis said. “I’m really looking forward to watching him play this year because he can do so much. He is a multi-talented kid who can step out, go inside, run the floor, defend and rebound. He can really do it all.”
The Chanticleers open the 2010-11 season Friday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. when the Chanticleers welcome Piedmont College to Kimble Arena.
2010-11 Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll
1. Coastal Carolina (10) 206
2. Winthrop (5) 191
3. UNC Asheville (4) 181
4. Presbyterian (4) 159
5. High Point 139
6. Liberty (1) 124
7. Charleston Southern 115
8. VMI 85
9. Radford 83
10. Gardner-Webb 32
2010-11 Men’s Basketball preseason All-Big South Team
Nick Barbour – High Point (Preseason Player of the Year)
Chad Gray – Coastal Carolina
Al’Lonzo Coleman – Presbyterian
Jamarco Warren – Charleston Southern
Austin Kenon – VMI