After being tabbed as the Southern Conference favorite by the league coaches and media at Monday’s Tip-Off event in Asheville, N.C., the ETSU men’s basketball team received more preseason accolades. Athlon Sports and Lindy’s Sports both released their 2019-2020 College Basketball previews, and the Buccaneers were pegged to win the SoCon by both media publications.
The Bucs, who were also the preseason SoCon favorite by Chris Dortch’s Blue Ribbon College Yearbook, return over 80 percent of their scoring, 77 percent of their rebounding and 88 percent of their three-point shooting from last year’s team that posted 24 wins. Overall, the Blue and Gold return four starters and their top six scorers from 2018-19.
Ken Cross of Lindy’s had ETSU listed first, with Furman, UNCG, Wofford, Samford, Western Carolina, Mercer, Chattanooga, VMI and The Citadel making up the preseason poll in that order. Their preseason all-conference team featured redshirt senior forward Jeromy Rodriguez (Santiago, Dominican Republic) on the first team, while junior guards Bo Hodges (Nashville, Tenn.) and Patrick Good (Johnson City, Tenn.) landed spots on the second team.
Lindy’s also listed Rodriguez as its Player of the Year, while being the league’s “Top Rebounder” and “Best NBA Prospect.” Hodges was listed as the “Most Versatile” player in the conference.
Athlon Sports’ preseason poll consisted of ETSU, UNCG, Furman, Wofford, Samford, Western Carolina, Mercer, Chattanooga, The Citadel and VMI in that order.
Rodriguez was placed on the first team all-SoCon team, with Good and Hodges earning second team nods.
ETSU hosts Limestone in an exhibition game on Friday Nov. 1, while opening the season with Newberry on Wednesday, Nov. 6. Tip time for both games is set for 7 p.m. inside Freedom Hall.