SSU Sports Information
The preseason recognition continues to pour in for women’s basketball. The Bears were already selected as the Mid-South preseason favorite in a vote of conference coaches. Shawnee State will now also enter the 2012-13 season as the No. 2 team in the NAIA rankings.
The Bears, who finished sixth in the final NAIA rankings last season, earned 269 points in the poll. That total was just 11 votes shy of preseason No. 1 Lubbock Christian.
The remaining preseason top five is made up of Freed-Hardeman, Vanguard and Westminster. As a conference, the Mid-South was also well represented with five teams ranked in the top 25. No other conference had any more than three schools in the preseason top 25.
No. 6 Georgetown, No. 13 Campbellsville, No. 17 Lindsey Wilson and No. 18 Cumberlands were the other Mid-South schools ranked in the preseason top 25. Cumberland was receiving votes in the preseason ranking, making a total of six MSC schools that received votes.
The Bears return a pair of All-MSC performers in junior Alannah Sheets and senior Alex Pohl. Sheets also went on to garner honorable mention All-America honors last season. Pohl enters the upcoming season needing just 165 points to join the 1,000-point club, while Sheets needs 220 points to achieve that honor in three seasons.
Sheets and Pohl averaged 14.5 and 13.2 points per game, respectively, in the 2011-12 season. Schera Sampson also averaged 12.6 points per contest last season, starting 16 of the 19 games she played in in her first season at SSU.
Shawnee State will open the 2012-13 season in just over a week from now at the Daemen Tournament. Its first game will be Friday, Nov. 2 at noon against Ryerson. That same weekend, the Bears will take on Guelph (Nov. 3, 2 p.m.) and host Daemen (Nov. 4, 1 p.m.). They will also be on the road for the Georgetown Invitational the following weekend (Nov. 9-10) before opening up at home with conference weekend vs. No. 18 Cumberlands and (RV) Cumberland.
SSU Men’s Basketball picked 8th in MSC Preason Poll
The Mid-South men’s basketball coaches have selected Shawnee State to finish in an eighth-place tie with Rio Grande in the annual preseason conference poll. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams in the ballot. The Bears received 28 voting points amongst the 10 other MSC coaches.
Georgetown and Pikeville, both teams the Bears defeated once last season, were picked first and second in the poll. Lindsey Wilson, University of the Cumberlands and Campbellsville rounded out the top five picks.
Head Coach Jeff Hamilton’s squad returns five of its six players that started at least 14 games a season ago and seven of the top eight scorers. Hamilton will be entering his 11th season as head coach on the Shawnee State sidelines this winter. Second-team All-MSC honoree Tyler Morgan headlines the returning players. He led the league in rebounding (9.2 per game) and finished with a team-high 15.1 points per game. He started all 30 games last year.
Tyler Boyles started 25 games last season, averaging 11.7 points per game. Ian Nixson started all 21 games that he played in, finishing with 9.5 points and 2.6 assists per game. Andrew Devlin started 29 games, averaging 5.8 rebounds and 5.8 points per game. Austin Vance also started 14 games.
Jeremy Bennington and Trevor Banks also finished amongst the top eight scorers on last year’s squad, while Tyler Farley and Gabe Haynes played in a combined 16 games a season ago. The only player not playing from last year’s squad is second-team All-MSC performer Mark Bryant, who is taking a redshirt season.
Last season, the Bears went 10-20 overall with a 4-12 record in the Mid-South. Included in those 10 victories were wins over then-No. 1 Pikeville and then-No. 8 Georgetown. They also beat a St. Catharine squad that was receiving votes at the time. Shawnee State will gets its season started in just two weekends when it travels to Rio Grande for games with Bethel (Nov. 2) and Taylor (Nov. 3).