SAINT LEO, Fla. - The Saint Leo men’s basketball team was selected ninth in the 2010-11 Sunshine State Conference Preseason Poll, it was announced Thursday by SSC Commissioner Jay Jones. The Lions totaled 39 points, finishing 33 points behind Barry for eighth. Rollins College claimed the top spot with 182 points and 10 first-place votes.
Last year's regular-season co-champions, the Tars received 182 points in the preseason poll, as well as 10 first-place votes. Last year's other co-champion, Florida Southern, finished second in the poll with 177 points and eight first-place votes.
Lynn came in third in the poll with 143 points. Eckerd appeared in the fourth position with 124.
Things were close in the next four slots in the preseason rankings. Nova Southeastern tipped the scales in fifth with 84 points. Florida Tech was sixth with 77 points, followed closely by Tampa in seventh with 74 and Barry in eighth with 72.
Despite losing all-time scorer and rebounder Jordan Prais and impact player Josue Vazquez, the Lions return a core group including seniors Jeremy Jackson, Matt Salay and Saladeem Dewberry, as well as welcome back senior Quentin Cullop after a year’s hiatus.
The Lions, who were also selected to finish last season ninth, concluded the year in a three-way tie for seventh-place and earned a berth into the SSC Tournament.
Voting for the SSC men's basketball preseason poll was conducted among the league's men's basketball coaches and sports information directors.
The Green & Gold will open its season in Valdosta, Ga. on Friday, November 12 when they take on Valdosta State University.