STAFF REPORT

For the first time in school history, Charleston Southern is the preseason men’s basketball favorite in the Big South Conference.

During the conference’s basketball media day in Charlotte on Tuesday, the Buccaneers were picked to win the Big South’s South Division after receiving 157 points and 29 first-place votes in the preseason poll. Coastal Carolina is picked second in the South Division and received 147 points and eight first-place votes. Defending Big South champion UNC Asheville (130 points) was selected third, followed by Winthrop (67 points), Gardner-Webb (58 points), and Presbyterian (50 points).

CSU returns four starters from a 19-12 squad in 2011-2012, led by a pair of All-Big South Preseason selections in sophomore guards Saah Nimley and Arlon Harper.

Campbell is the preseason favorite in the North Division.The Camels received 21-of-29 first-place votes and 166 out of a possible 174 points to capture its division. The Bucs play Campbell on Feb. 9 at CSU.

VMI finished second in North Division voting with 136 votes and five first-place votes. High Point was picked third, followed by Liberty (98 points), Radford (57 points), and Longwood (49 points).