Shaw picked to finish 3rd in preseason CIAA poll

CorrespondentOctober 3, 2013 

Livingstone is learning to live with the expectations of an elite CIAA program.

The Blue Bears, picked to finish second in the Southern Division by the league’s coaches behind Winston-Salem State, won a school-best 22 games last season and advanced to the NCAA Division II tournament for the first time. This year, they’re adjusting to being the hunted.

“The expectations are there. We can’t avoid them,” Blue Bears coach James Stinson said at Media Day in Charlotte. “They are going to be there and with us returning 10 players (we’re expected) to be at the top of our game.”

Shaw, which returns 6-foot-4 guard Curtis Hines (13.4 points per game, 51.2 percent shooting last season), was picked third and J.C. Smith, historically a preseason fixture at the top, slipped to fourth.

“I think it’s accurate,” Golden Bulls coach Steve Joyner said of his team’s ranking. “With the way we finished last year, certainly the coaches paid attention to that. We lost quite a few of our games at the end of the year and certainly did not go into the tournament with the best frame of mind.”

J.C. Smith, which went 16-11 last season, will need someone to replace All-American guard Trevin Parks, who averaged 25 points per game, but all-conference forward Emilio Parks, who averaged 15.4 points and 6.7 rebounds a game, returns.

Winston-Salem State, which went 21-7 last year, returns preseason All-CIAA forwards Tyre Desmore and Preston Ross to a team that went 12-1 on its home floor but was swept by Livingstone, which won the South for the first time.

“I think we can compete with everybody in our division,” Stinson said. “It’s just that we have to afford ourselves to get some easy basket opportunities and get into the flow of a game.”

St. Augustine’s coach Tony Sheals, whose Falcons were picked last in the six-team division, considers the prediction a good starting point for a team that returns Joel Kindred, a 6-4 senior guard who averaged 11.1 points per game as a junior.

“I don’t put a lot of credence on the order of finish,” Sheals said. “Somebody has to be first and somebody has to be last. I hope it does motivate the kids, but I hope that is not the single-most motivation. Our goals will always be to win 20-plus games, to win the CIAA Southern Division, win the CIAA tournament and go to the NCAA tournament.”

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service