Men’s basketball picked to win the A-Sun title

Over the last three years, the JU men’s basketball has made tremendous strides – becoming the first program in the modern era of college basketball to go from one win to conference champions in three years.

With four starters returning, the Dolphins have been picked by the league coaches and media to defend their title in 2010 as the Atlantic Sun Conference released the preseason polls on Wednesday.

JU won its first-ever regular season title last season and advanced to the postseason for the first time since 1987 as the Dolphins participated in the NIT.

“This is a tremendous honor for our program to be recognized by the other coaches in the league and the media that cover us,” said JU head coach Cliff Warren. “While the accolades are nice, we know that we still have to prove ourselves on the court.”

In the coaches’ poll, the Dolphins were tied with Lipscomb to win the league as each team received 111 points. JU received five first place votes while Lipscomb had four. Mercer and ETSU were other teams to receive first place votes, picked third and fourth respectively.

Belmont was picked to finish fifth with Campbell in sixth. Florida Gulf Coast and Stetson were tied for seventh followed by UNF in ninth, USC Upstate in 10th and Kennesaw State in 11th.

In the media poll, JU received 24 of the 31 possible first place votes to be the pick to win the league. Lipscomb was picked second, followed by Mercer, Belmont and ETSU to round out the top five.

Campbell was picked sixth followed by Stetson in seventh, Florida Gulf Coast in eighth, Kennesaw State in ninth, USC Upstate in 10th and UNF in 11th.

The league’s coaches picked Lipscomb to win the A-Sun Tournament while the media went with the Dolphins.

JU will open the season with practice next Friday in anticipation of the season opener at Florida State on Nov. 13.