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Murray State, Belmont Pre-Season Picks

October 23rd, 2012 - By Charles Choate

In the first season ever for split divisions in Ohio Valley Conference basketball, Murray State and Belmont have been tabbed to capture the top spots.

Head coaches and Sports Information Directors made their votes Tuesday at OVC Media Day in Nashville, choosing the Racers and Bruins to be atop the league at season’s end.

Murray State returns a powerful lineup from last seasons (31-2) team, which was at one point ranked 7th in the nation and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Coach Steve Prohm’s Racers also return All-American Isaiah Cannan, last year’s OVC “Player of the Year” and this season’s pre-season selection.

Belmont comes to the OVC with three starters from a (27-8) team, that also played in the NCAA Tournament five of the last seven seasons.

Coach Rick Byrd placed two players on the All-OVC team, despite both never playing a conference game.

UT-Martin was selected to finish 6th in the West Division under Murray State, but return four starters from last year’s team.

Coach Jason James will have junior Mike Liabo, who averaged 15.2 points per game, and All-OVC Newcomer, who averaged 13.7 points per game as a freshman.