MYRTLE BEACH, SC—The Winthrop men’s basketball team was picked fifth in the South Division as the Big South Conference’s annual preseason poll was announced Thursday afternoon at the Sheraton Convention Center Hotel in Myrtle Beach, S.C. as voted on by the league’s head coaches and media panel.
The Eagles, which finished 14-17 overall and 6-10 in the Big South in 2012-13, return five starters along with a couple of key role players that will mix with a talented group of newcomers in hopes of returning the program toward the upper tier of the league.
Winthrop head coach Pat Kelsey isn’t too concerned with the preseason prediction but said it could be used as motivation. “Well you got to play the games. You know preseason polls, preseason picks are what they are. They’re on paper before the ball goes up in the air. In those type things for competitive guys, which is what we have in our locker room is sort of fuel. I think they’ll take those types of things and use them as motivation to show up tomorrow morning at practice and be a little hungrier.”
Charleston Southern was voted as the favorite to capture the South Division as it received 28-of-30 votes followed by Gardner-Webb, Coastal Carolina (two first place votes), UNC Asheville, Winthrop and Presbyterian College. High Point was voted to win the North Division, receiving 25 first place votes. Liberty was second with three first place votes followed by Radford, Virginia Military Institute (two first place votes), Campbell and Longwood.
The season kicks off on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 4 p.m. when the Eagles hosts Roanoke College for its “Homecoming” game.