Dolphin Basketball Picked Third In Atlantic Sun Preseason Polls

Oct. 30, 2001

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville University has been picked to finish third in both the 2001-02 Atlantic Sun Coaches and Media Preseason Basketball Polls, as released by the conference office today. It is the highest the Dolphins have been chosen since joining the league in 1998. JU also received one first-place vote in each poll, while junior point guard Kevin Sheppard (St. Croix, Virgin Islands) was tabbed an Atlantic Sun Preseason All-Conference selection by the media.

Georgia State received 18 of a possible 20 first-place votes in the media poll and 10-of-11 possible first-place votes in the coaches poll. GSU's Thomas Terrell was picked as the Preseason Player of the Year in both polls, while the Panthers have also been chosen by both polls to win the A-Sun Tournament Championship. Troy State was tabbed second in both polls after advancing to the conference championship for the second consecutive season last year. The Trojans return two of the top players in the league in guard Robert Rushing and forward Lemayne Wilson.

Sheppard is the Dolphins' top returning player after averaging 9.2 points and 2.9 assists last season as a sophomore. The 6-foot point guard, who has played in all 55 games since coming to JU, spent the summer playing with the Virgin Island National Teams in Mexico and China. Sheppard is the captain of the Virgin Island University national team, but also competed on the Olympic national squad.

JU is coming off of its best season in six years after finishing in a tie for third in the A-Sun last year with an 18-10 overall record and an 11-7 league mark. The Dolphins lost seniors Shawn Platts, Brandon Williams and Kris Hunter, but welcome the talents of newcomers Calvin Warner (Jacksonville, Fla.), Ryan Lewis (New Orleans, La.) and Travis Robinson (Gastonia, N.C.). Warner sat out last season after transferring from Eastern Michigan, where he was the an All-Mid American Conference selection as a sophomore after leading the Eagles with 14.6 points and 7.0 rebounds a game. Robinson (6-6, 220) was the leading scorer at Fresno State in 1999 (14.9 ppg) before transferring to Barton County Community College, while Lewis (6-9, 220) played in 16 games as a sophomore at Georgia in 1999-2000 before transferring to Chipola Junior College. Other returners for JU include junior forward Tabari Brown (Brunswick, Ga.), senior forward Ali Kaba (Sanniquelle, Liberia) and senior guard Toby Frazier (Jacksonville, Fla.).

2001-02 A-Sun Preseason MEDIA Basketball Poll 1. Georgia State (18) 236 pts 2. Troy State (1) 172 pts. 3. Jacksonville (1) 159 pts. 4. Stetson 141 pts. 5. Samford 136 pts. 6. Mercer 120 pts 7. UCF 104 pts 8. Belmont 94 pts. 9. Campbell 58 pts. 10. Florida Atlantic 25 pts. 11. Jacksonville State 19 pts.

2001-02 A-Sun Preseason MEDIA All-Conference Team *Thomas Terrell, Georgia State (10) Scott Emerson, Mercer Robert Rushing, Troy State Santos Hampton, Steston Kevin Sheppard, Jacksonville Adam Fellers, Campbell *Player of the Year

2001-02 MEDIA Predicted Tournament Champion Georgia State (7)

2001-02 A-Sun Preseason COACHES Basketball Poll 1. Georgia State (10) 130 pts 2. Troy State 101 pts. 3. Jacksonville (1) 97 pts. 4. Mercer 73 pts. 5. UCF 66 pts. 6. Stetson 61 pts 7. Belmont 59 pts 8. Samford 54 pts. 9. Campbell 32 pts. 10. Florida Atlantic 25 pts. 11. Jacksonville State 19 pts.

2001-02 A-Sun Preseason COACHES All-Conference Team *Thomas Terrell, Georgia State (6) Scott Emerson, Mercer Lemayne Wilson, Troy State' Darryl Cooper, Georgia State Robert Rushing, Troy State *Player of the Year

2001-02 COACHES Predicted Tournament Champion Georgia State (6)