Men's Basketball 10/10/2018 1:13:00 PM
VSU Basketball Picked No. 7 By Street & Smith's
Story Links CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Virginia State University men's basketball team has been ranked No. 7 in the Street & Smith's/Sporting News College Basketball Yearbook's preseason NCAA Division II preview. The preview article written by small-college basketball expert Chuck Mistovich.
Mistovich provided team capsules for each of his projected NCAA Division II Top 10 for the 2018-19 season along with a 25-man Preseason All-America list featuring 5-man first- and second-team units accompanied by a 15-member honorable mention list. "It's nice to be ranked No. 7 in the country," VSU head coach Lonnie Blow said, "but we're preparing to compete in a very tough non-conference and Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association schedule. We're located in one of the best basketball regions in the country so we know we have a long road ahead of us. Coach Blow earned CIAA Men's Basketball Coach/Atlantic Region Coach of the year honors last season and led the Trojans to another NCAA Division II Tournament bid.
"We're excited to begin preparations for the upcoming season and looking forward to having all 18 guys healthy. Our guys are working hard and focused on getting better every day."
Virginia State University was the only Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association schools to crack the Top 10 but they have plenty of company from the Atlantic Region. The Trojans finished the 2017-18 season with a 25-5 overall and 13-3 conference record.
Last season the Trojans made history by securing the number one spot in the Atlantic Region and hosted the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Men's Basketball Atlantic Region Tournament.
Key returners to this year's squad include senior guard/forward Cyonte Melvin (Hampton, Va.), guard/forward Walter Williams (Richmond, Va.), guard Brandon Holley (Richmond, Va.), guard Philip Owens (Virginia Beach, Va.), Sophomore William Vedder (Washington, DC) and junior Andrew Corum (Leesburg, Va.).
Cyonte Melvin is looked to be one of the leaders on the floor for the Trojans this upcoming season. Melvin finished last season averaging 10.1 points per game and shot 73% from the free throw line and 47% from the field. During the 17-18 campaign, he secured 113 total rebounds.
Senior Walter Williams also another leader finished last season averaging 9.8 points per game alongside shooting 48% from the field, 37 % from the 3-point line, and 74% from the free throw line.
In addition the Trojans have nine new additions to this roster. The Atlantic Region isn't lacking for star power. The newcomers include Jalen Jackson (6-2/Guard/Cleveland, OH), Tony Richardson (6-9/Center/ Sterling, Va.), Cedric Wiggins (6-0/Guard/Richmond, Va.), Jahmere Howze (6-6/Forward/Cleveland, OH), Armond Griebe (6-7/Forward/Woodbridge, Va.), Tre' Wortham (6-1/Guard/Woodbridge, Va.), Azariah Sykes (6-8/Forward/Richmond, Va.), Kevin Holmes (6-9/Forward/Virginia Beach, Va.), Dallas Wilson (6-7/Forward/Portsmouth, Va.) and Antwan Miles (5-11/Guard/Hampton, Va.).
VSU will start the 2108-19 campaign on Nov. 2, as they travel to take on Norfolk State University for a Division 1 exhibition matchup. Tip-off for the VSU v. NSU game is slated for 7pm at Joseph G. Echols Memorial Hall on the campus of NSU.
Street & Smith's/Sporting News
NCAA Division II
2018-19 Preseason Top 10
1. WEST LIBERTY 26-4
2. Bellarmine, Ky. 29-3
3. Indiana, Pa. 22-8
4. Lincoln Memorial, Tenn. 32-2
5. West Texas A&M 32-4
6. Saint Anselm, N.H. 22-9
7. Virginia State 25-5
8. Southern Nazarene (Okla.) 27-3
9. St. Cloud State (Minn.) 24-9
10. Cal Poly-Pomona 23-7