(Predicted order of finish)
LAST SEASON: 25-8, 16-2 SoCon (1st)
COACH: Bob McKillop, 426-271 in 24 seasons at Davidson
PLAYERS TO WATCH: F De’Mon Brooks, 6-7, Jr. (15.7 pg., 6.2 rpg); G Nik Cochran, 6-3, Sr., (10.9 ppg., 3.9 agp); F Jake Cohen, 6-10, Sr. (14.3 ppg., 6.1 rpg); G Chris Czerapowicz, 6-7, Jr., (10.1 ppg., 4.9 rpg); G JP Kuhlman, 6-4, Sr. (10.8 ppg., 3.8 rpg).
NOTABLE: The Wildcats return all five starters from last year’s Southern Conference championship team.
2. College of Charleston
LAST SEASON: 19-12, 10-8 (4th)
COACH: Doug Wojcik begins first season at Charleston; 140-92 career record
PLAYERS TO WATCH: G Andrew Lawrence, 6-1, Sr. (14.4 ppg., 5.1 apg); F Trent Wiedeman, 6-8, Jr. (12.1 ppg., 8.7 rpg); G Anthony Stitt, 6-1, So. (9.7 ppg., 1.7 rpg); C/F Adjehi Baru, (7.8 ppg., 6.3 rpg)
NOTABLE: Lawrence and Wiedeman were named to the All-SoCon preseason team.
3. Georgia Southern
LAST SEASON: 15-15, 12-6 (T-2nd)
COACH: C.Y. Young, 29-65 in 3 seasons at Georgia Southern
PLAYERS TO WATCH: F Cameron Baskerville, 6-7, Jr. (3.6 ppg., 2.9 rpg); G Eric Ferguson, 6-7, Jr. (13.7 ppg., 6.4 rpg); G Jelani Hewitt, 6-2, Jr. (9.7 ppg., 2.0 apg)
NOTABLE: Ferguson was a preseason All-SoCon pick.
LAST SEASON: 19-14, 12-6 (T-2nd)
COACH: Mike Young, 156-153 in 10 seasons at Wofford
PLAYERS TO WATCH: G Karl Cochran, 6-1, So. (11.1 ppg., 4.7 rpg); F Aerris Smith, 6-7, Jr. (4.2 ppg., 3.0 rpg); F Lee Skinner, 6-6, So. (6.2 ppg., 5.9 rpg)
NOTABLE: The Terriers have big shoes to fill with the departure of their two top scorers from last year — Brad Loesing and Kevin Giltner.
LAST SEASON: 15-16, 8-10 (5th)
COACH: Jeff Jackson, 78-107 in 6 seasons at Furman
PLAYERS TO WATCH: G Bobby Austin, 6-3, Sr. (7.5 ppg., 2.8 apg); G Jordan Lloyd, 6-3, So. (6.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg); G/F Charlie Reddick, 6-5, Jr., (10.4 ppg., 4.9 rpg); F Bryant Irwin, 6-7, Sr. (7.7 ppg., 2.8 rpg)
NOTABLE: The Paladins return five players who had 10 or more starts during the 2011-12 season.
6. The Citadel
LAST SEASON: 6-24, 3-15 (6th)
COACH: Chuck Driesell 16-46 in 2 seasons
PLAYERS TO WATCH: F Mike Groselle, 6-8, Sr. (16.7 ppg., 9.6 rpg); G Lawrence Miller, 6-1, So. (6.2 ppg., 42 percent from 3-point); F C.J. Bray, 6-7, So. (4.3 ppg., 3.5 rpg)
NOTABLE: The Bulldogs feature two players from the Lowcounty in Raemond Robinson (Goose Creek HS) and C.J. Bray (James Island HS).
North Division 1. UNC Greensboro
LAST SEASON: 13-19, 10-8 (1st)
COACH: Wes Miller, 11-11 in one season and overall
PLAYERS TO WATCH: G/F Trevis Simpson, 6-4, jr. (18.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg); G Derrell Armstrong, 6-1, sr. (12.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg); F David Williams, 6-6, jr. (5.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg)
NOTABLE: Miller, a 2007 North Carolina grad and former Tar Heels player, took over the squad at midseason last year and led a team in the midst of an 11-game losing streak to the North Division title.
LAST SEASON: 15-16, 9-9 (2nd)
COACH: Matt Matheny, 38-56 in 4 seasons at Elon and overall
PLAYERS TO WATCH: G Jack Isenbarger, 6-2, jr. (14.5 ppg, 2.7 apg); F Lucas Troutman, 6-10, jr. (12.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg); G Austin Hamilton, 5-10, so. (9.2 ppg, 2.8 apg); G Sebastian Koch, 6-8, jr. (8.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg)
NOTABLE: With five starters back — including four juniors and a sophomore — the Phoenix are poised to make a run at the North Division title this year and next.
3. Western Carolina
LAST SEASON: 17-18, 8-10 (3rd)
COACH: Larry Hunter, 107-118 in 7 years at WCU, 616-342 in 32 years overall
PLAYERS TO WATCH: G Trey Sumler, 6-2, so. (11.5 ppg, 4 rpg); G Brandon Boggs, 6-5, jr. (10 ppg, 3.8 rpg); F Tawaski King, 6-7, jr. (7.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg)
NOTABLE: Catamounts finished last season on a run, winning seven straight games, including three in the SoCon tournament to make the championship game.
4. Appalachian State
LAST SEASON: 13-18, 7-11 (5th)
COACH: Jason Capel, 29-33 in 2 seasons at ASU and overall
PLAYERS TO WATCH: G Tab Hamilton, 6-3, so. (8 ppg, 1.4 rpg); G/F Jamaal Trice, 6-6, sr. (9.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg); G Mike Neal, 6-2, so. (8.3 ppg, 3.1 apg)
NOTABLE: The Mountaineers suffer some heavy losses, including guard Omar Carter, 6-7 forward Andre Williamson and 6-10 center Isaac Butts.
LAST SEASON: 11-19, 8-10 (T-3rd)
COACH: Bennie Seltzer, first season at Samford and overall
PLAYERS TO WATCH: F Tyler Hood, 6-6, so. (11.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg); G Raijon Kelly, 6-4, so. (9.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg); G Will Cook, 6-4, jr. (8 ppg, 5.3 rpg)
NOTABLE: Seltzer, a former Indiana assistant, replaces longtime coach Jimmy Tillette.
LAST SEASON: 11-21, 5-13 (6th)
COACH: John Shulman, 132-127 in 8 years at Chattanooga and overall
PLAYERS TO WATCH: F Drazen Zlovaric, 6-9, sr. (10.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg); G Dontay Hampton, 6-1, sr. (7.1 ppg, 2 rpg); F Z. Mason, 6-5, jr. (5.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg)
NOTABLE: Shulman held on to his job despite a disastrous 2011-12 season that began with his team as the preseason favorite in the North Division.
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