TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2004
Basketball Picked 7th in Atlantic Sun Preseason Coaches Poll
Oct. 26, 2004
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville University, which returns three starters from last year's 13-15 squad, has been picked seventh in the 2004-05 Atlantic Sun Preseason Coaches Basketball Poll, as released by the conference office today. The Dolphins were picked eighth in the Preseason Media Poll.
"We're looking forward to the challenge," said head coach Hugh Durham, who is entering his 8th season with the Dolphins and ranks 9th among active Division I coaches with 617 career victories. "We know we have a great challenge ahead, but we'll accept the challenge and stretch ourselves to reach the lofty goal we set each season - to win the conference championship."
Defending A-Sun Tournament champion UCF is favored to win the league in the Preseason Media Poll, while two-time tournament champion Georgia State is predicted to win the conference by the league's head coaches. The two teams have combined for five A-Sun Tournament titles, and while UCF has never won the A-Sun regular-season title, Georgia State has earned at least a share of the honor four times. The Panthers are favored in both polls to win this season's A-Sun Tournament Championship.
The Dolphins return three starters from last year's team which qualified for the A-Sun Championship for the sixth consecutive season, despite entering the year as the most inexperienced team in Division I. A-Sun Freshman of the Year Haminn Quaintance (Sarasota, Fla.) is the Dolphins' top returner after averaging 14.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game as a true freshman en route to Second-Team Atlantic Sun All-Conference honors. Joining Quaintance is senior shooting guard David Lee (Columbus Ga.), who averaged 14.0 points per game during a breakout junior campaign, and junior point guard Aubrey Conerly (Calumet, Ill.), who became just the 18th player in school history to hand out 100 assists (103) in a season last year.
JU will look to a solid group of newcomers to add scoring punch to one of the league's top defenses. Junior forward Antonio Cool (Chicago Heights, Ill.) will step in immediately at the wing after averaging 11.2 points and 5.1 rebounds at Fort Smith (Ark.) Junior College, while 6-foot-6 sophomore forward Joey Robinson (Oklahoma City, Okla.) will add some muscle in the post after leading Redlands (Okla.) Junior College to the NJCAA National Championship game. The backcourt should be bolstered with the addition of junior point guard Jesse Kimbrough (Mexia, Texas), a former Texas A&M football player who averaged 16.2 points and 6.9 assists last season at McClennan (Texas) Community College, while junior guard B.J. Surry (Independence, Mo.) is a sharp-shooting lefty who averaged 14.9 points at Highland (Ill.) Community College.
The Dolphins open the regular season against Florida at Veteran's Memorial Arena in Jacksonville on Friday, Nov. 19, at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster or by calling the JU Ticket Office at 256-7407. JU opens its home schedule at Swisher Gymnasium on Tuesday, Nov. 23, against North Florida at 7 p.m.
2004-05 Atlantic Sun Preseason Media Poll Team (1st place votes) Pts. 1. UCF (4) 156 2. Georgia State (5) 147 3. Troy (2) 144 4. Stetson (1) 136 5. Belmont (2) 128 6. Florida Atlantic (3) 116 7. Mercer 97 8. Jacksonville 86 9. Gardner-Webb 52 10. Campbell 36 11. Lipscomb 26
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