The Gulf South Conference unveiled its 2019 Men’s Basketball Preseason Release on Thursday, and the GSC head coaches anticipate a successful season for The University of Alabama in Huntsville as the Chargers have been picked to finish first in the league.
Additionally, JJ Kaplan and Sam Orf have been selected to the five-member Preseason All-GSC Team.
In the preseason poll of the league’s coaches, the Chargers – under the direction of new head coach John Shulman – have been selected as the favorites to win the conference, capturing four first-place votes to total 134 points in the poll. Just behind UAH is West Alabama who earned five first-place nods for 128 points, while Valdosta State has 126 points and two first-place choices to check in third.
The top five is rounded out by No. 4 Union and fifth-ranked West Florida, while West Georgia is in sixth ahead of Delta State and Lee who are tied for seventh in the poll. Montevallo in ninth and Christian Brothers in 10th complete the first 10 in the ranking, while Mississippi College at 11th, No. 12 Auburn Montgomery, and Shorter in 13th finish the list.
Head coaches could not vote for their own team.
Both Second Team All-GSC selections last year, Kaplan and Orf give UAH multiple selections to the Preseason All-GSC Team that also features Valdosta State’s Clay Guillozet, LaJuan Hardy of West Alabama, and Terrandus Smith from Union.
Kaplan averaged 13.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game during his redshirt sophomore season, and he totaled eight double-doubles on the year. The Huntsville native finished the season second in the conference both in rebounding and also in field goal percentage as he shot 52.8 percent on the year.
Orf averaged 14.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game last year while shooting 50.5 percent including a 43.3 percent showing from long-range, and he reached double figures in scoring in 26 of his 31 appearances while knocking down at least three 3-pointers in 13 games. Orf finished the year as the league’s eighth-best scorer.
In total, UAH returns four starters and its three leading scorers from last year’s team that went 24-8 overall and 15-5 in conference play while reaching the championship game of the GSC tournament and earning the program’s eighth NCAA tournament berth in the past 10 seasons.
The GSC also announced the league’s top newcomers on Thursday, and UAH was represented by redshirt junior Triston Chambers who is expected to have a big impact this season after sitting out last year to acclimate to the program. Nathan Moore, a true freshman from Huntsville High School, also represented the Chargers on the top newcomers list.
Practice officially begins for UAH on Oct. 15, and the Chargers will open the regular season on Nov. 9 against Saint Leo at Montevallo.
2019-20 MEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLL
|1. Alabama Huntsville (4)||134|
|2. West Alabama (5)||128|
|3. Valdosta State (2)||126|
|4. Union (1)||103|
|5. West Florida||88|
|6. West Georgia||82|
|T7. Delta State (1)||74|
|10. Christian Brothers||56|
|11. Mississippi College||37|
|12. Auburn Montgomery||30|
NOTES: The head coaches voted in this poll. Teams received 12 points for a first place vote, 11 for a second place vote, etc. The head coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams. Number of first place votes in parenthesis.