SIUE Women's Basketball Team Picked Third; Men Fourth


Published on October 23 2012 10:29 am
Last Updated on October 23 2012 11:08 am
Written by Millie Lange

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – The SIUE women's basketball team, under first-year Head Coach Paula Buscher, has been picked to finish third in the Ohio Valley Conference's Western Division.

The OVC announced the preseason coaches' poll Tuesday at Media Day in Nashville, Tenn.

Raven Berry, a 6-1 senior from Collinsville, was named to the preseason All-OVC women's basketball team.

SIUE garnered 86 votes in the preseason poll. With the addition of Belmont to the league, the OVC now has a West Division and an East Division. The predicted order of finish in the West was UT Martin, Eastern Illinois, SIUE, Murray State, Austin Peay, and Southeast Missouri.

The selected order of finish in the East was Tennessee Tech, Eastern Kentucky, Belmont, Morehead State, Tennessee State, and Jacksonville State.

UT Martin's Heather Butler was selected as the preseason OVC Player of the Year.

SIUE men's basketball has been picked to finish fourth in the Ohio Valley Conference's West Division in a vote of OVC basketball coaches and sports information directors released Tuesday at the annual OVC Media Day. With the addition of Belmont, the OVC has 12 teams, and will play in an East-West Division format this season.

SIUE garnered 73 points and was picked to finish behind Murray State, Southeast Missouri and Austin Peay in the West. Eastern Illinois and UT Martin round out the picks in the West Division.

"We have our work cut out for us," SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said. "We haven't won a game yet. . . We haven't lost one either. We're pretty excited about where we are with our program and all the guys that are coming back and how hard they are working right now."

OVC-newcomer Belmont was chosen as the East Division Champs. The Bruins were followed by Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, Morehead State, and Eastern Kentucky. Jacksonville State is ineligible for postseason play this season and was not ranked.

The two division winners will earn the top two seeds in the OVC Tournament, which will take place March 6-9 in Nashville, Tenn. Seeds 3-8 will be determined by conference winning percentage regardless of division. SIUE is eligible, for the first time, for all postseason play.

"It's been a long wait," Forrester said. "Our assistant coaches and players have done a great job building a strong foundation."

Also announced Tuesday was the preseason All OVC Team. SIUE senior forward Mark Yelovich (Decatur) was named to the team, after being named to the All-OVC second team following the 2011-2012 season.

"Mark always has been one of our hardest workers," Forrester said. "It's well-deserved. I am very pleased and happy for him."