Upstate Picked Fourth in ASUN Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll, Cunningham Tabbed Preseason All-Conference

October 19, 2017 at 11:45 am

LakePoint, Ga. – The USC Upstate men’s basketball team has been picked to finish in fourth place according to the league’s head coaches, while redshirt-junior Mike Cunningham was a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-Conference Team, as the annual ASUN Preseason Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll was released by the conference this afternoon.

Upstate garnered 33 points in the preseason poll to receive the fourth-place designation. Cunningham was one of six players to be a unanimous selection to the preseason all-conference team.

Defending regular season and tournament champion Florida Gulf Coast has been tabbed the favorites in the ASUN this season with seven of eight first-place votes and 63 points. Lipscomb is second with 55 points while North Florida earned the other first-place vote and sits third at 46 points. Kennesaw State is behind the Spartans in fifth place with 28 points. A total of three points separate the final spots in the preseason poll with Stetson (6th, 22 points), Jacksonville (7th, 21 points) and NJIT (8th, 20 points).

Cunningham finished last season second on the team in scoring with 13.4 points per game and played in all 33 contests while registering 28 starts. He also averaged 14.4 points per contest against ASUN opponents. Cunningham ranked 11th or better in the conference in scoring, minutes played, 3-point field goal percentage, free throw percentage, assists per game, assist/turnover ratio and steals per game. He scored in double-figures 25 times, including 12 of the final 13 games, and had six with 20 or more points. Cunningham scored a career-high 28 points at North Florida and dished out a career-best seven assists against Jacksonville State.

Brandon Goodwin of Florida Gulf Coast has been voted the Unanimous Preseason Player of the Year and North Florida’s Wajid Aminu the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.

Cunningham is one of three starters returning for Upstate in 2017-18 as it welcomes back eight letterwinners from a team that went 17-16 last season and made its fourth appearance in the Postseason Tournament (CIT). The Spartans also welcome eight newcomers.

Season tickets are now on sale and can be purchased through the USC Upstate Athletic Department. Upstate is offering four ticket packages, beginning with the Faculty/Staff package for $100. Fans have the ability to purchase a Courtside Package ($220 plus a $125 donation to the U Club), Season Package ($170) and General Admission Package ($150). The prices include tickets to all home men’s and women’s basketball games this season.

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