Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Big South Conference Preview


The Big South Conference featured an exciting race for much of the season, before Radford pulled away towards the end of the campaign, putting some separation between itself and VMI, which led the league for the early part of the conference season. Radford won nine straight games before falling to Liberty in the season finale, while VMI lost three straight in the middle of February to lose its hold on the league. Liberty and UNC-Asheville finished above .500, while three more teams finished at 9-9. Radford won the conference tournament before losing to eventual national champion North Carolina in the first round. The Highlanders are the primary favorites once again, but there are several teams nipping at their heels.

1. Radford: The Highlanders are the favorites to repeat, led by center Art Parakhouski and forward Joey Lynch-Flohr in the frontcourt.
2. UNC-Asheville: The Bulldogs have the talent to compete with Radford, as Matt Dickey and John Williams form a solid inside-outside duo.
3. High Point: The Panthers finished in last place a season ago, but Nick Barbour is a scorer and Cruz Daniels is a terrific shot-blocker. 
4. Winthrop: Always one of the conference contenders, the Eagles need role players to step forward and become go-to-guys offensively.
5. Coastal Carolina: The Chanticleers shouldn't be overlooked this season; forward Joseph Harris is a double-double machine up front.
6. VMI: With their up-tempo offense and attacking defense, the Keydets will be a tough team to match-up with, led by guard Austin Kenon.
7. Charleston Southern: One of the best guards in the league, Jamarco Warren, is set to become a big-time scorer for the Bucs.
8. Gardner-Webb: The Bulldogs return four starters from a team that finished .500 in the conference, including guard Grayson Flittner.
9. Liberty: With Seth Curry transferring to Duke, the Flames are going to struggle; Kyle Ohman is an all-conference candidate at guard.
10. Presbyterian: The Blue Hose are redshirting their three best players so they will be eligible for when Presbyerian can play in the postseason.

Player of the Year:
 Art Parakhouski, C, Radford

All-Conference Team:
G- Jamarco Warren, Charleston Southern
G- Grayson Flittner, Gardner-Webb
F- Joey Lynch-Flohr 
F- Joseph Harris, Coastal Carolina
C- Art Parakhouski, Radford

Second Team:
G- Nick Barbour, High Point
G- Matt Dickey, UNC-Asheville
G- Austin Kenon, VMI
G- Kyle Ohman, Liberty
F- John Williams, UNC-Asheville 

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