Rush 6th in GCAC; David, Davison earn preseason honors

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NEW ORLEANS — The men’s basketball head coaches of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference have picked Xavier University of Louisiana to finish sixth in 2017-18, and they selected Jalen David and Virgil Davison of the Gold Rush to the preseason All-GCAC team.

The conference announced the order of finish and preseason team Tuesday but did not reveal the teams’ point totals or distribution of first-place votes — a departure from previous seasons.

XULA will open its 80th season at 2 p.m. EDT Friday at St. Thomas (Fla.) in Miami Gardens. The Gold Rush home opener will tip off at 7 p.m. Nov. 6 against Miles at the Convocation Center.

A year ago the XULA men placed fourth in the GCAC at 6-6 and were 10-20 overall to finish with their first sub-.500 record since 1989-90, when they were 14-21. Dillard, GCAC Tournament champion each of the past two seasons and GCAC regular-season champion a year ago, was the coaches’ pick for first place, followed by Tougaloo, Talladega, Philander Smith, Edward Waters — the Panthers and Tigers tied for fourth — XULA and SUNO.

David — a 6-foot-4 senior guard/forward from Mount Vernon, N.Y., a graduate of Mount Vernon High School and a former Moberly Area (Mo.) Community College standout — led the Gold Rush last season with 11.5 points and 1.3 steals per game and was second-team All-GCAC.

Davison, a graduate of Hillcrest High School in Memphis, Tenn., is in his first XULA season after transferring from Dyersburg State Community College. A 5-8 junior guard, Davison averaged 23 points as a Dyersburg sophomore and 16.1 points as a freshman.

The NAIA announced Tuesday its preseason national coaches polls. XULA opponents making the top 25 were No. 2 LSU-Alexandria, No. 15 Dillard and No. 16 William Carey in Division I and No. 14 Florida Memorial and No. 20 St. Thomas (Fla.) in Division II.

GCAC Men’s Basketball
2017-18 Coaches Poll
Rank School
1 Dillard
2 Tougaloo
3 Talladega
4-tie Philander Smith
4-tie Edward Waters
6 XULA
7 SUNO

XULA in previous GCAC polls
2016-17 — 3rd
2015-16 — 3rd
2014-15 — 2nd
2013-14 — 2nd
2012-13 — 1st
2011-12 — 2nd
2010-11 — 1st
2009-10 — 8th
2008-09 — 2nd
2007-08 — 1st
2006-07 — 6th 2004-05 — 3rd
2003-04 — 4th
2002-03 — 5th
2001-02 — 1st
2000-01 — 2nd
1999-2000 — 3rd
1992-93 — 2nd
1991-92 — 1st
1989-90 — 6th
1988-89 — 4th
1987-88 — 2nd

2017-18 Preseason All-GCAC
Men’s Basketball
Player School
Rick Cooper Dillard
Jessie Ward Dillard
Jalen David XULA
Virgil Davison XULA
Devonte Dixon Talladega
Deangelo Anthony Talladega
Christopher Journet Philander Smith
JaCarre Crockett Philander Smith
Tonzell Handy Tougaloo
Anfernee Parker Tougaloo
GCAC Preseason Player of the Year: Jessie Ward, Dillard

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