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The Big South Conference featured a fun conference race last season, with Coastal Carolina holding off preseason favorite Radford down the stretch. Coastal started off with six straight league wins, and finished with another four in a row, while Radford was never able to fully recover from a 7-4 start, ultimately finishing second. Winthrop lost its final two league games to drop to third, with three other teams finishing above .500. In the conference tournament, Winthrop hit its stride, eventually knocking off Coastal Carolina its home gym in the title game to get to the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles were granted a berth in the play-in game, falling to Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Coastal Carolina could look to take the next step this season.
- 1. Coastal Carolina: South Carolina transfer Mike Holmes and former sixth man Chad Gray could fight over Player of the Year honors by season’s end.
- 2. UNC-Asheville: The inside-outside duo of playmaker J.P. Primm and forward John Williams could carry the Bulldogs to the Big Dance.
- 3. Presbyterian: A 5-26 team projected to finish third? Well, the Blue Hose redshirted their three best players last season, including Al’Lonzo Coleman.
- 4. Winthrop: The Eagles will have to improve their scoring if they are going to get back to the NCAA Tournament. Look out for Reggie Middleton.
- 5. Charleston Southern: The Buccaneers struggled down the stretch last season, but bring back guard Jamarco Warren and forward Kelvin Martin.
- 6. VMI: One of the most entertaining teams in the country, the Keydets have five double-figure scorers, including Austin Kenon and Keith Gabriel.
- 7. High Point: Although the Panthers have the league’s best player in guard Nick Barbour, they will need additional help from the newcomers.
- 8. Liberty: The Flames had a very young team last season, but a more experienced group, led by Evan Gordon, could be a potential sleeper.
- 9. Radford: Talk about a rebuilding job. The Highlanders lose four starters and will need to get a huge leap in production from Blake Smith.
- 10. Gardner-Webb: The Bulldogs finished next-to-last a season ago and lose six seniors from that group. Guard Jonathan Moore will lead the way.
Player of the Year: Nick Barbour, G, High Point
- G- Nick Barbour, High Point
- G- Jamarco Warren, Charleston Southern
- F- Chad Gray, Coastal Carolina
- F- Mike Holmes, Coastal Carolina
- C- Al’Lonzo Coleman, Presbyterian
- G- Austin Kenon, VMI
- G- Reggie Middleton, Winthrop
- G- J.P. Primm, UNC-Asheville
- F- John Williams, UNC-Asheville
- F- Kelvin Martin, Charleston Southern