Falcons chosen as PBC men’s basketball preseason favorite

Published 3:42 am Friday, November 2, 2012


AUGUSTA, Ga. – Just six months removed from playing in the NCAA Division II national championship game, the University of Montevallo men’s basketball  team was selected as the Peach Belt Conference preseason favorite in a poll of the conference’s head coaches released Nov. 1.

The Falcons collected five first-place votes and 139 total points in the poll to edge out Augusta State by two points.  The Jaguars collected seven first-place votes and finished with a total of 137.  UNC Pembroke was third in the voting, one point ahead of USC Aiken.  Columbus State was next followed by Clayton State, Georgia College and Lander.  Georgia Southwestern, Francis Marion, North Georgia, Armstrong, newcomer Young Harris and Flagler rounded out the voting.

Montevallo’s two-point margin is the closest in the preseason poll since Francis Marion edged out USC Aiken 105-104 to start the 1998-1999 season.  Montevallo is the preseason favorite for the first time in its four-year tenure in the Peach Belt Conference. The Falcons captured their first Peach Belt Conference tournament title, hosted and won the NCAA Division II Southeast Region tournament and advanced to the Elite Eight and the National Championship game during the 2011-2012 season.

The Falcons were 29-8 overall last year, including 12-5 in conference play. Montevallo returns three starters from last year’s team including senior preseason All-Conference selection Drico Hightower, senior forward Marvin Fitzgerald and sophomore point guard Ryan May.

The Falcons travel to Oxford, Miss. in their final exhibition game Nov. 5. Tip-off at Tad Smith Coliseum is set for 7 p.m.

Montevallo opens the regular season at home Nov. 13 against Stillman College. Tip-off at BankTrust Arena is set for 7 p.m.