Spartans Garner More Votes in Mid-Major Poll
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Just one week after receiving votes for the first time in any poll during the Division I era, the USC Upstate men's basketball team picked up 10 votes in the latest Mid-Major Top 25 poll.
If the poll were expanded past 25, the Spartans would be tied for 32nd with Loyola Marymount and Northern Iowa. Fellow Atlantic Sun school member Belmont ranks 15th in the poll, while Mercer earned three votes (T-40th).
Upstate currently owns the best turnaround in all of Division I with a 15-win improvement compared to the 2010-11 season.
The Spartans are just the second team to post 20 or more wins in their first season of full NCAA D-I eligibility after completing the five-year transition from to D-I. North Dakota State posted 26 wins in their first season of full eligibility (2008-09) and the Bison advanced to the NCAA Tournament (L, 74-84, (3) Kansas, First Round).
Earlier Monday, the Spartans picked up a trio of post season honors from the A-Sun as head coach Eddie Payne was named the league's Coach of the Year. Torrey Craig (Great Falls, S.C.) earned Player of the Year honors, while Ty Greene (Knoxville, Tenn.) was named the A-Sun's Freshman of the Year.
The Spartans will make their first appearance in the A-Sun Tournament Thursday night when they battle Florida Gulf Coast at 8:30 p.m. inside Mercer's University Center. The battle between the Spartans and the Eagles will air on ESPN3.