Monday, November 2, 2015

Spalding University Picked to Finish Second in SLIAC

Spalding University is picked to finish second in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference this season.

Here's a release from the SLIAC:

Webster University edged out Spalding University as favorites in the 2015-16 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Preseason Poll while a total of four teams received first-place votes.

Webster, coached by Chris Bunch, received 71 total points including four first-place votes to grab the top spot in the poll. They return three starters and 8 of their 10 top ten players from last year's team that tied for the SLIAC regular season title, going 17-9 overall. The Gorloks will have to replace the program's second all-time leading scorer, Ahmad Smith, but the continued development of forward Hunter Ward should offset the scoring loss. Ward, a junior forward, averaged 13.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game last season while earning All-Conference honors. Junior guard C.J. Moore will also be counted on to increase his scoring output after shooting 53-percent from the field and averaging 9.3 points per game last year. The Gorloks will rely on the size of junior forward Joe Henry who showed signs of success as an inside presence last year, shooting 55-percent from the field. The Gorloks bring in several newcomers including junior transfers Xavier Dortch (8.8 points and 4.1 assists per game) and Davian Joseph as well as freshman Jahmad Wilburn.

Spalding, who has won at least a share of the last three SLIAC regular season titles and won the conference tournament title last year, received 70 total points and four first-place votes in the poll. Head Coach Kevin Gray returns just two starters and four players from last year's squad that went 18-10 overall. Leading the way is senior guard Brandon Goeing, a First Team All-Conference performer, who averaged a team high 15.1 points per game while leading the conference in three-point field goals with 72. Also returning is starting guard James Turner, who averaged 8.7 points per game while hitting on 43-percent of his three-point shots. Senior guard Victor Cosby is also back after seeing time in 19 games last year, starting five. The Golden Eagles will count on newcomers Nick Trisko, a junior forward; Jalen Bradley, a freshman swingman; and Domonique Ellis, a freshman guard; to provide minutes in the rotation.

Complete Release

School Total Points (1st Place Votes)

Webster 71 (4)
Spalding 70 (4)
Fontbonne 64 (1)
MacMurray 63
Greenville 43 (1)
Westminster 38
Iowa Wesleyan 36
Eureka 24
Principia 20
Blackburn 14

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