BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – For the third consecutive year, the University of Alabama in Huntsville men's basketball team has been selected as the favorite in the Gulf South Conference, and the team was the only one in the league to feature multiple selections to the Preseason All-GSC Team as announced by the league office Thursday.
For the second straight season, the Chargers were selected unanimously to win the conference by the GSC's head coaches, notching all seven first-place votes to total 49 points. A year ago, UAH won 29 games for the second straight season while advancing to the Elite Eight also for a second straight year.
Following the Blue and White was Christian Brothers with 36 points, and West Georgia placed third in the preseason poll with 30 points. UWG narrowly edged out West Alabama who received 29 points to be picked fourth, and North Alabama (26 points) rounded out the top five. Delta State and Valdosta State finished in a tie for sixth with 20 points, and West Florida rounded out the poll with 14 points.
Newcomers to the league Shorter and Union will play a full conference schedule but are not eligible for postseason play and thus were not included in the poll.
Also for the third straight season, UAH seniors Zane Campbell and Jaime Smith landed on the Preseason All-GSC Team after leading the Chargers to the league's regular season and tournament titles and a second consecutive NCAA South Region championship. Smith led the nation and the conference in 3-point field goal percentage a season ago while finishing third in scoring average, and Campbell was third in the league in field goal percentage and blocked shots while also placing in the top 10 in points per game.
The GSC also announced the top newcomers for the 2012-13 season, and the Chargers were represented by Wayne Dedrick and Greg Gardner. Both freshmen, Dedrick hails from Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he played last at Hillcrest High School, and Gardner comes to the Rocket City from Indianapolis and Bishop Chatard High School.
Midnight Madness for the Chargers will be held Friday night, and UAH will first hit the floor when it opens the home slate on Nov. 9 against Point Loma Nazarene before travelling to Manhattan, Kan., to face North Texas in the NIT Season Tip-Off on Nov. 12.