Cumberland received three first-place votes and tied for second in the Mid-South Conference preseason women’s basketball coaches’ poll released Tuesday by the conference office.
The Bulldogs won the MSC regular season and conference tournament championships in 2012-13 and were among six league teams to participate in the NAIA National Tournament. Fifth-year head coach Jeremy Lewis lost seven seniors off last year’s club but has reloaded with three four-year transfers and a pair of junior college players to go with seniors Casie Cowan, TaCouya Allen and Lebanon’s London Elie, all major contributors during last year’s record-breaking season.
Cumberland returns five total letterwinners and three redshirts while adding one true freshman and six transfers. The Bulldogs will open the season Nov. 1-2 at the Bethel Rotary Classic, taking on Oklahoma Baptist and the host Wildcats. CU will begin the home slate Nov. 5 against Oakwood.
Georgetown College received five first-place votes and 74 total points overall. Campbellsville picked up the other two first-place votes and Campbellsville and Shawnee State tied with Cumberland for second place with 64 total points. Georgetown, Campbellsville and Shawnee State finished within two games of each other behind the Bulldogs last season. The University of the Cumberlands was fifth with 58 points.
Lindsey Wilson, Bluefield, Pikeville, St. Catharine and Rio Grande rounded out the poll. The 2014 Mid-South Conference Championships will take place March 6-9 at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center in Lebanon.
Men’s basketball slotted eighth in preseason poll
The Cumberland men’s basketball team was picked eighth in the Mid-South Conference preseason coaches’ poll for 2013-14, released by the league office Tuesday.
Returning for his 12th year at the helm, head coach Lonnie Thompson returns seven letterwinners including starter Lester Gude from last year’s squad which finished 9-20 with a 5-15 mark in the MSC.
A senior this season, Gude joins fellow upperclassman Lamar Brinkley who missed the entire 2012-13 season with an injury. Brinkley is expected to join the lineup in mid-December following a preseason setback.
Gude, Brinkley and company will be joined by 11 newcomers this season including five freshmen and six transfers. Of the transfers, five join the Bulldogs from junior colleges while one arrives from an NCAA Division I program.
For the second straight season, Georgetown College received top billing in the poll following a run to an NAIA national championship last season. Georgetown slightly edged Pikeville, receiving 78 points on six first place votes, compared to the Bears’ 72 points with three first place votes.
Lindsey Wilson snagged the final of ten first place votes to occupy the third position in the poll. Campbellsville and University of the Cumberlands rounded out the top five. St. Catharine and Shawnee State registered the sixth and seventh slots just ahead of the Bulldogs, with Bluefield and Rio Grande rounding out the poll.
The Mid-South Conference Tournament is set to begin March 6-9 at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center in Lebanon.