Mount Olive now ranked No. 7 in Division II
Published in Sports on October 25, 2005 2:14 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive earned its second national top 10 preseason ranking as the Trojans are picked No. 7 in the 2005-06 Division II Bulletin Preseason Men's Basketball Top 25. Division II Bulletin also named guard Elton Coffield as a Preseason All-America Honorable Mention and Preseason Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference Player of the Year.
Mount Olive was also picked No. 5 in Street and Smith's Preseason Division II Top 10. The magazine also named Coffield as a Preseason All-America Honorable Mention.
Mount Olive posted a 29-5 record last season and earned its first-ever trip to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight. The Trojans won the East Regional before falling to eventual national runner-up Bryant in the national quarterfinals.
The Trojans return four starters in addition to Coffield, who averaged 17.6 points per game and was among the nation's leaders with 45.5 percent shooting from three-point range. Coffield came off the bench in 32 of 34 games last year, but was second on the team in minutes played.
Coffield, a 6-3 junior from Williamston, N.C., earned first team All-East Region and All-Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference honors. He was also named Most Outstanding Player of the East Regional after scoring 29 points against Salem International in the championship game.
Returning starters include senior guards Melvin Creddle, Maurice Horton and Victor Young, along with junior forward Elijah Rouse. Young was named to the All-Tournament Team at the East Regional and scored 23 points in the Trojans' Elite Eight contest. Horton earned All-CVAC Honorable Mention.
Tarleton State (Texas), which reached last year's Division II Final Four and was picked No. 1 in the Street and Smith's poll, is also picked No. 1 by Division II Bulletin. Defending national champion Virginia Union is picked No. 4.
Mount Olive is one of three teams from the East Region ranked in the Division II Bulletin Top 25. West Virginia State is ranked No. 15, while last year's regional runner-up Salem International is No. 24.
The Trojans are also among six teams from last year's Elite Eight to earn a preseason ranking. Joining Mount Olive, Tarleton State and Virginia Union are Findlay (No. 6), Metropolitan State (No. 8) and Lynn (No. 12).
Mount Olive tips off its 2005-06 season in early November with a pair of exhibition games against Division I opponents. The Trojans travels to UNC-Wilmington November 5, then heads to RBC Center in Raleigh to take on North Carolina State.
Mount Olive opens its regular season Nov. 18-19 as the Trojans play host to the 40th Annual Pickle Classic.
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