The Columbus State University women’s basketball team is projected as a top contender for the 2018-2019 Peach Belt title while conference coaches see the Cougars’ rebuilding men’s team as an unknown factor going into the season.
In a pre-season poll of the Peach Belt’s 12 head coaches, the CSU women’s team came in second 18 points behind defending conference champion North Georgia which received 11 first-place votes. Lander was third with Francis Marion and Flagler sharing fourth.
On the men’s side, Coach Robert Moore’s Cougars were sixth, trailing reigning PBC co-champion UNCP-Pembroke, which had nine of the 12 first-place votes. The other three went to Clayton State, which shared the title with UNCP last season.
Third-year head coach Anita Howard brings back seven players off last year’s CSU team that went 19-10 overall, finishing third in the conference and reaching the NCAA post-season Tournament for the fifth straight season.
Reigning PBC and Southeast Region Player of the Year Tatiana Wayne leads the group of returners after averaging 20.0 points per game last season. Wayne is a pre-season pick to repeat as the Peach Belt Player of the Year.
Tatum Jarvis, the team’s third-leading scorer, and leading rebounder Chrisalyn Boston are also back. The seven returning women’s players will mix in with 11 newcomers for the 2018-19 season.
It will be a totally new look and new style of play for Moore’s Cougars. The veteran coach begins his ninth season at the helm with eight players returning from last season struggling group. He must replace his four top scorers from last year’s squad.
Junior John Lambert is the top returning scorer for the Cougars at 5.0 points per game last season. Columbus native Cam Paulding started 18 games last season, averaging 3.0 points and 3.0 rebounds.
Moore added eight newcomers to the fold for 2018-19, including one familiar face. DeMarcus McVay rejoins the Cougars after sitting out the last two seasons. The senior averaged 9.4 points and 7.0 rebounds for CSU during the 2015-16 campaign.
CSU is coming off a disappointing 9-17 season in which the Cougars tied for seventh in the Peach Belt. Last season snapped a streak of three consecutive years with at least 20 wins and a NCAA Tournament appearance.
Howard’s ladies begin the regular season Nov. 16-17 in Albany, Ga. with the PBC/SIAC Challenge. The Lady Cougars will take on Fort Valley State on Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. and Albany State on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. Both games will be played at Albany State.
The new-look Columbus State men will open the 2018-19 regular season Nov. 9-10 in Bristol, Tenn. The Cougars will take on Lees-McRae and King — both of which received votes in the NABC Preseason Top 25.
2018-19 PBC Women’s Basketball
Preseason Coaches Poll
|1.||North Georgia (11)||121|
2018 PBC Men’s Basketball
Preseason Coaches Poll
|1.||UNC Pembroke (9)||118|
|2.||Clayton State (3)||109|