Falcons ranked in preseason men’s basketball poll

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The University of Montevallo men’s basketball team is ranked No. 17 in the 2011-2012 Basketball Times’ NCAA Division II preseason poll, which was released recently.

The Falcons are one of three Peach Belt Conference teams ranked in the top 20. Montevallo returns four players from last season, including three starters. The Falcons also welcome in 10 new faces who will be strong contributors throughout the season.

The Falcons are coming of a season in which they advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Danny Young returns his leading scorer, senior Antoine Davis, his leading rebounder, senior DeMarcus Catchings, his top 3-point threat, redshirt junior Jonas Brown, and a key contributor off the bench, senior Jervan Jackson.

Coming into the fold are a number of transfers, including Division I transfer D.J. Rivera, who brings an impressive resume. Rivera, who began his career at St. Joseph’s University, averaged 20 points per game at Binghamton University and he led the America East Conference in scoring during the 2008-2009 season. Rivera scored 20 points in the Bearcats’ 86-62 loss to Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Georgia Southwestern State leads the Peach Belt Conference contingent at No. 14 overall, while Clayton State comes in at No. 16. NCAA Southeast Region rival Lincoln Memorial University is ranked No. 2 in the poll, while Queens University of Charlotte is sitting at No. 15

Montevallo opens the season Nov. 11-12 at the Peach Belt Conference-South Atlantic Conference Challenge in Sahlonega, Ga., where they will battle Mars Hill and Brevard.