Concord Picked 10th in WVIAC Preseason Poll - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Concord Picked 10th in WVIAC Preseason Poll

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The Concord University men's basketball team has been picked to finish in 10th place this season in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference according to the preseason coaches' poll, released Thursday by the league office.

West Liberty garnered 14 first-place votes and 224 total points to lead the field, besting No. 2 Charleston for the top spot. The Golden Eagles received 201 points in the voting. Fairmont State picked up one first-place nod and 191 total points for third place in the poll.  West Virginia State tallied 156 points for fourth while Alderson-Broaddus notched 146 points and is picked to finish fifth. Shepherd was sixth, just ahead of Wheeling Jesuit.

Pitt-Johnstown, West Virginia Wesleyan and Concord make up the final three spots of the top-10. Seton Hill edged Glenville State for 11th. Davis & Elkins is 13th while Bluefield State and Ohio Valley were tabbed to finish in 14th and 15th place, respectively.

In his first season as head coach in 2011-12, Kent McBride led Concord to a 17-12 overall record and 13-10 mark in the WVIAC. He guided the Mountain Lions all the way to semifinals of the WVIAC Tournament before losing to Charleston in a close 89-80 contest. McBride, a Concord alum, will be joined this season by new assistant coach Todd May, who was a key assistant at Columbus State Community College the past four seasons.

The 2012-13 Concord Mountain Lions features five returnees, five transfers and four freshmen.

Leading the returners is sophomore guard Mike Boyd, who started 28 of 29 games played a season ago. For the year, Boyd averaged 7.9 points, a team-high four assists, and 2.9 rebounds while shooting 40.9 percent (70-for-171) from the field. Boyd, who had at least five assists in a game 13 times, was second on the team in minutes played last year at 826 (28.5 mpg).

Senior forwards Gentry Shrewsbury and Damien Tunstalle are also back after strong junior campaigns. Shrewsbury started 17 of his 29 games played, averaging 16.7 minutes, 2.9 points, 3.2 rebounds while totaling 17 steals and six blocks. Tunstalle also played in every Mountain game last year. The Beckley, W. Va. native shot 49.2 percent (58-for-118) from the field and 44.2 percent (23-for-52) from three-point range.

Rounding out the returners are senior guard Eric Bailey and sophomore forward Jordan Davis. Bailey is coming off of a year in which he went 5-for-6 (83.3 percent) from three-point range while Davis' 3.7 rebounds per game ranked fourth on the team.

Sophomores Paul Byrd, a guard, and Alex McGlothin, a forward, began their collegiate careers at Northern Kentucky. Last season, Byrd played in 25 games, shooting 48 percent from the field and passing out 30 assists while McGlothin saw time in 17 contests, making two starts and grabbing two rebounds a game with a 50 percent shooting percentage.

The Mountain Lions' largest inside presence this season will no doubt be 6-10, 245 pound junior center David Baroum, who comes to Athens after spending two years at Bethune-Cookman and ST. Petersburg Junior College.
Junior forward Nick Ruffin averaged eight points and eight rebounds a game as a sophomore at Kalamazoo Valley Community College while sophomore guard Thomas Brown is a former All-Central Virginia Boys Basketball Player of the Year out of Nelson County High School.
Concord's four-man freshmen class consists of forward Nick Moyer, guard Cam Shannon, guard Jake Bischoff and guard Luke Campbell.

The Mountain Lions begin their season by traveling to Erie, Pa. to take part in the Mercyhurst Invitational Tournament where they will play host Mercyhurst and Kutztown University back-to-back Nov. 9-10. From there Concord will jump right into WVIAC play for three games, including its home-opener Nov. 17 vs. Pitt-Johnstown, before the first of two non-conference games against West Virginia Tech (Dec. 3).