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The Voice of the Black Community

CIAA Media Day

Posted by: Editor-Bonitta Best on Friday, October 5, 2018 at 12:00:00 am

The CIAA held its first virtual women’s and men’s basketball press conference from Charlotte. Only 141 days remain till the 2018-19 CIAA Tournament. Yes, ONLY. When you’re over 40, the days fly by and February will be here before you can shake a stick.

The tourney will begin Monday night instead of Tuesday morning with the addition of Claflin, which gives the conference an odd number of 13 teams. Claflin doesn’t sponsor football. Playing on Monday is nothing new for the conference. Who remembers when the women played on Mondays and Tuesdays, the men on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and then the semifinals on Fridays. The tourney was shortened to trim costs. Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams said they now have to figure out when to hold the pre-tournament banquet, which was held on Monday.

Of course, the question of the tourney’s next move came up. McWilliams said the board expects to make a decision in December, but “may or may not” make the announcement until after the tourney is over. Hard to believe this year will be the 14th in Charlotte, which is way, way too long. Former commissioner Leon Kerry always said six years was the longest the tourney should stay in one city at a time, or else they start to take you for granted, and that’s certainly the case in Charlotte.

In the no-surprise predictions, Virginia State men were given the No. 1 overall seed, followed by Shaw. Both won their respective divisions last season. The remaining list in order: Virginia Union (defending champs), Bowie State, Winston-Salem State, Claflin, Johnson C. Smith, Livingstone, St. Aug’s, Elizabeth City State, Chowan, Lincoln and Fayetteville State.

Men's Preseason Team:
•    Saiquan Jamison, BSU
•    Austin Lawton, CLA
•    Zaccheus Hobbs, ECSU
•    Josh Bryant, FSU*
•    Roddric Ross, JCSU*
•    Roger Ray, LC*
•    Tyre Gathright, SAU*
•    DaVaughn Kelsie, SU
•    Walter Williams, VSU
•    Cyonte Melvin, VSU
•    Robert Colon, WSSU
•    William Crandell, WSSU*
*Member of the 2018 All-CIAA First Team

No surprise on the women’s side either, as Virginia Union (defending champs) and J.C. Smith are 1-2. The big news is Shaw ranked at No. 12, one notch ahead of rival St. Aug’s at No. 13. I think the only time the Lady Bears have been preseason ranked so low was maybe in coach Jacques Curtis’ first year. The remaining list in order: Virginia State, Fayetteville State, Bowie State, Chowan, Lincoln, WSSU, Livingstone, ECSU, Claflin, Shaw and SAU.

Women's Preseason Team:
•    Ashley Fields, CLA
•    Mariah Coker, CU
•    Jalyn Brown, ECSU*
•    Shantel Bennett, FSU
•    Yakima Clifton, FSU
•    Malia Rivers, JCSU
•    Kyala Searcy, LC
•    Kaaliya Williams, SAU*
•    Chrisanna Green, VSU*
•    Shameka McNeill, VUU
•    
Shareka McNeill, VUU*
•    Brionna Pate, WSSU
*Member of the 2018 All-CIAA First Team

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