CIAA announces preseason Men’s and Women’s Basketball All-Conference teams and predicted order of finish

Though we are getting into the teeth of football season, the start of basketball season is looming over the horizon. The CIAA, which has a rich basketball tradition, announced their preseason Men’s and Women’s All-CIAA teams and the predicted order of finish.

From The CIAA:

Charlotte, NC – The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) announces the 2019 All-CIAA Preseason Men’s and Women’s Basketball Teams, as voted on by the CIAA Basketball Coaches Associations and the Sports Information Directors Association, and the predicted order of finish as selected by the men’s and women’s head coaches. The preseason teams and predicted order were both announced during the CIAA Basketball Virtual Media Day on Tuesday. 

The 2019 men’s and women’s preseason teams each feature six returning players from last year’s All-CIAA teams led by Livingstone guard Roger Ray and Virginia Union guard Shareka McNeill.

Ray, a native Raleigh, NC, is the CIAA’s leading returning scorer at 21.3 points per game, finishing second in the conference and within the top 30 nationally in that category last season. A two-time All-CIAA selection and a BoxToRow All-American last season, Ray is also the conference’s leading returning assist man at 6.2 per game, also good for second in the CIAA and 12th in Division II in 2018-19. The 5-9 senior shot 39.4 percent from three, making 2.6 per game, and shot 84 percent from the free throw line, finishing top three in the CIAA in all three categories.

Livingstone, Virginia State, and Lincoln (PA) tied for the most selections on the men’s preseason team with two each while a total of nine schools were represented.

McNeill, the reigning CIAA Player of the Year, returns for her junior season after averaging a league-leading 24.7 points per contest, good for fifth best in all of Division II. The Charlotte, NC native was the CIAA’s top three-point shooter at 38.2 percent from the three-point line and made 3.4 per game, which was third best in the conference. A D2CCA All-American last season, McNeill shot 41 percent from field and nearly 78 percent from the line, ranking among league leaders in both categories. She went on a historic run during the 2019 CIAA Basketball Tournament that saw her average 44.6 points per game, including a 59-point performance that tied the tournament record for most points scored in a single game and broke the record for most points in the tournament with 134 points.

Virginia Union led the women’s preseason team with three selections followed by two each from Lincoln (PA), Elizabeth City State, and Bowie State with seven total schools having representation on the team.

Bowie State men and Virginia Union women were picked by league coaches to win the North Division as well as finish atop the CIAA standings. The Fayetteville State women and Livingstone men were picked to win the Southern Division.

Led by Head Coach Darrell Brooks, the Bowie State men finished last season with a 17-13 overall record (12-5 in the CIAA) and finished third in the Northern Division last season and third in the CIAA overall. The Bulldogs were a no. 3 seed in the 2019 CIAA Tournament, falling to Livingstone in the quarterfinals.

The Virginia Union women, coached by AnnMarie Gilbert, finished with a 28-3 record (15-2 in the CIAA), winning both the CIAA regular season and tournament titles. The Lady Panthers, who finished 13th nationally in the WBCA Coaches Poll, earned a playoff berth as the no. 2 seed in the Atlantic Region, advancing to second round before falling to Indiana (PA).

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Men’s All-CIAA Backcourt
Roger Ray, Livingstone College +
Cameron Campbell, Lincoln University (PA) +
Robert Colon, Winston-Salem State University +
Terrell Leach, Virginia Union
Walter Williams, Virginia State

Men’s All-CIAA Frontcourt
Lydell Elmore, Livingstone College +
Saiquan Jamison, Bowie State University +
Deaquan Williams, Lincoln University (PA) +
Tyjhai Byers, Elizabeth City State
Andrew Corum, Virginia State
Cayse Minor, Johnson C. Smith
Alex Owens, Shaw

+ – Returning 2018-19 All-CIAA selection

CIAA Men’s Basketball Predicted Order of Finish

  1. Bowie State
  2. Virginia State
  3. Livingstone
  4. Virginia Union
  5. Claflin
  6. Elizabeth City State
  7. Shaw
  8. Winston-Salem State
  9. Fayetteville State
  10. Lincoln
  11. Johnson C. Smith
  12. Saint Augustine’s

Northern Division 

  1. Bowie State
  2. Virginia State
  3. Virginia Union
  4. Elizabeth City State
  5. Lincoln (PA)

Southern Division

  1. Livingstone
  2. Claflin
  3. Shaw
  4. Winston-Salem State
  5. Fayetteville State
  6. Johnson C. Smith
  7. Saint Augustine’s

Women’s Backcourt
Daisa Harris, Livingstone College +
Shareka McNeill, Virginia Union University +$
Kwanza Murray, Lincoln University +
Amaya Tucker, Winston-Salem State University +
Asia Deal, Elizabeth City State University

Women’s Frontcourt
Naterria Luster, Elizabeth City State University +
Kyaja Williams, Bowie State University +
Alisia Machado, Lincoln University
Jasmine Carter, Virginia Union University
Iffy Okoye, Virginia Union University
Dynaisha Christian, Bowie State University
Kaaliya Williams, Saint Augustine’s University

+ – Returning 2018-19 All-CIAA selection
$ – 2018-19 CIAA Player of the Year

CIAA Women’s Basketball Predicted Order of Finish

  1. Virginia Union
  2. Fayetteville State
  3. Bowie State
  4. Johnson C. Smith
  5. Lincoln (PA)
  6. Elizabeth City State
  7. Winston-Salem State
  8. Livingstone
  9. Virginia State
  10. Claflin
  11. Shaw
  12. Saint Augustine’s

Northern Division

  1. Virginia Union
  2. Bowie State
  3. Lincoln (PA)
  4. Elizabeth City State
  5. Virginia State

Southern Division

  1. Fayetteville State
  2. Johnson C. Smith
  3. Winston-Salem State
  4. Livingstone
  5. Claflin
  6. Shaw
  7. Saint Augustine’s

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