By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
SIAC Announces Preseason Hoop Honors
TUCKER, Ga. — The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference has announced their 2008-09 Men’s & Women’s Preseason All Conference Basketball Teams and Predicted Order of Finish.
This year, both the men’s and women’s teams are comprised of mostly returning players from the 2007-08 campaign including nine players on the men’s team and seven on the women’s.
Highlighting the list are both Freshmen of the Year from the men’s and women’s teams Michael Holmes of Benedict and Kadeidra Freeland of Fort Valley State. Chosen to lead the SIAC at the end of the season is Benedict College for the men, their second straight prediction, and for the women Kentucky State.
This year’s Preseason All Conference team for the women features seven women that return from the 2007-08 regular season All Conference Team. Four of the five women on the first team this year where in the top ten in scoring in the conference a season ago.
Shantrell Moss led the surprising CAU Lady Panthers to the Semi-Finals in the conference tournament last season and led the conference in scoring averaging 20.8 points per game and 8.7 rebounds per game. She was also named to the All Tournament team.
Along with Moss is Takesha Riggs of the always highly favored Fort Valley State Lady Wildcats. Riggs was second in the conference in scoring averaging just over 19 points per game. Mattie Jones of Kentucky State, Cyntonia Jones of Miles and Nikia Trice of Albany State round out the first team.
On the second team for the women is the 2007-08 Freshman of the Year Kadeidra Freeland from Fort Valley State and returning also to the team is Sylbrena Johnson of Stillman College. Johnson was third in the conference in scoring last year averaging 18.1 points per game and led her team to the semifinals of the conference tournament.
New to the team is Latrice Watkins of Kentucky State, Tiffany McGhee of Stillman and Cyntauna Jones of Miles. Jones, the twin of the aforementioned first teamer, helped led Miles as the third highest scoring team in the conference last season. The twins also accounted for nearly 35% of Miles’ scoring last season.
KSU’s Watkins was a key component of their run through the SIAC to the Championship game or the tournament and their NCAA DII Tournament appearance.
She was third in the conference in steals and fifth in the conference in assists.
For the men, nine returners make up the team including Benny Lewis and Michael Holmes both of Benedict who led the Tigers to the sweet sixteen of the NCAA DII Tournament, a first for the SIAC in nearly 15 years. Holmes, took the SIAC by storm in his freshman year last season, averaging 10 points per game and 5 rebounds en route to leading Benedict to a conference championship.
He was also honored by receiving second team All Conference and All Tournament honors and being named Freshman of the Year and SIAC Tournament MVP. He along with teammate Benny Lewis, was also named to the South Region All Tournament Team.
Others on the first team is the SIAC Leading scorer from a year ago Flawaan Flaggs of Miles, Rasuul Buulu of LeMoyne-Owen (second in the conference in scoring), Kenney Boyd of Morehouse and Scheraun King of Albany State.
Flaggs averaged 20.4 points per game last season and Rasuul Buulu put a surging LeMoyne Owen team on his back averaging nearly a double double with 17.7 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game. Boyd of Morehouse is the only returner that averaged a double double averaging 15 points per game and 10 boards.
On the second team is athletically and academically inclined Benny Lewis. Lewis was named to the SIAC’s All Academic team and All Conference team last season. He also was named to the DII South Regional All Tournament team and the SIAC All Tournament for his role in leading Benedict to the conference championship and NCAA tournament appearance.
Benny averaged 11.3 points per game and in the NCAA Tournament scored 20 points in two of their three games. Other returners on the team are Kevin Johnson and Najee Lane of Clark Atlanta, Martrez Scott of Fort Valley State, and Julian English of Paine College. Lane is the only newcomer to the team. He along with his teammate Kevin Johnson were vital parts of the CAU Panther run for the SIAC title, leading them to conference semi-finals.
Kentucky State for the Women and Benedict for the Men where chosen by the Coaches association to finish atop of the SIAC. For the men, behind Benedict is Claflin predicted to finish second and Morehouse predicted to finish third.
Claflin, who will begin their first official season as a conference team, dominated the SIAC last year going 24-2 and losing to only Benedict and Morehouse all of last season. For the Women, Fort Valley State is predicted to finish second along with Clark Atlanta slated to finish third.
The All Conference teams and Predicted Order of Finish was chosen by the SIAC Coaches association and based upon retuning 2007-08 All Conference members.
NOTE: For more information, log on to thesiac.com.