PORTSMOUTH, Ohio – The Shawnee State men’s basketball program has been selected eighth in the 2015 Mid-South Conference’s Preseason Coaches’ Poll, as announced by conference officials on Wednesday afternoon.
The poll was a collection of all nine coaches in the Mid-South Conference and coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
In the 2015 version of the polls, the University of Pikeville took home the top billing by a single point over Georgetown (Ky.). The Bears would grab 60 points and four first-place votes, while the Tigers grabbed another four first-place votes along with 59 voting points.
Campbellsville placed third in the voting poll as the Tigers – who split the Mid-South regular season title with Pikeville last year and is the defending Mid-South Tournament Champion, grabbed the lone remaining first-place vote and obtained 49 points in the poll.
Cumberlands (Ky.), Lindsey Wilson, and Life (Ga.) were next to follow in the voting poll, as the trio racked up 44, 34, and 32 points, respectively.
Cumberland (Tenn.) would then edge Shawnee State by three points for the seventh place spot in the polls as the Bulldogs tabbed 20 points compared to the Bears’ aforementioned total of 17. St. Catharine would grab the final slot in the poll with a total of nine points.
During the 2014-15 season, the Bears finished with an overall record of 11-19, including a mark of 4-12 in Mid-South Conference play. However, Shawnee State returns nine upperclassmen – including seven seniors – from last year’s roster.
The group of returnees includes Devon Carter, who became the first player in school history to shoot over 90 percent from the free throw line in a season last year.
Overall, the senior point guard sits third all-time in career free throw percentage (.862) as well as eighth all-time in assists (205). Dante Dunston is fully healthy after sitting out the majority of last season due to injury and will also play a major factor in the Bears’ backcourt efforts.
Additionally, the Bears return their top three rebounders from last season as Jacob Daniels, Nick Tingle, and Ethan Moffatt are back to head Shawnee State’s efforts in the post. The trio grabbed 137, 135, and 121 rebounds to average 4.7, 4.5, and 4.3 boards per contest, while Daniels and Tingle each shot over 50 percent from the floor.
The Bears will officially commence the 2015-16 season with a bout against Northwestern Ohio at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31 at the Frank & Janis Waller Gymnasium. Shawnee State will then start Mid-South play on Thursday, Nov. 19 when the Bears take on Campbellsville at 8 p.m., also at the Frank & Janis Waller Gymnasium.