Trojans picked to finish second in A-Sun

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Sports Editor

The Troy State men’s basketball team was picked by both the media and coaches to finish second in the Atlantic Sun Conference behind defending champ Georgia State in the upcoming season.

However, TSU head coach Don Maestri is reluctant to claim his 20th Trojans’ team as the league’s No. 2.

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"Polls haven’t had any real meaning for us," said Maestri. "It’s great that the media and the coaches think we’ll be that good this year, but in this league you play a lot of close ball games and from top to bottom, all the other teams are better this season."

Forward Lemayn Wilson (14.6 ppg) and point guard Robert Rushing (14.5) return for their senior seasons. Rushing was named to both the coaches and media preseason all-conference team, while Wilson made the latter.

"I think Lemayn and Robert are right where they were when the season ended last year," said Maestri. "They should perform pretty much the same as they did a year ago. But we’ve got some new faces that we’ll have to see how they respond once we open the season."

The Trojans start the year off at Kansas State on Nov. 16. Back-to-back road trips follow at Marshall and at Maine, before Troy State plays its first home game against Jacksonville State on Nov. 29.

Defensive workhorse Donnie Pemberton, who was a starter two year’s ago, will join Wilson in the frontcourt, while two transfers, Ben Fletcher (Enterprise Junior College) and Lacedrick Pettway (Jones County, Iowa, Junior College), round out the Trojans’ starting five.

Fletcher averaged over 17 points per game last season in Enterprise and will man the No. 2 spot, replacing departed senior Matt Holman.

Pettway, who Maestri thought would make a good inside addition at center, has been moved to the perimeter. Pettway, (6-6, 210), averaged 14 points last season.

"He’s (Pettway) surprised us in practice with his shooting ability and is shooting the ball real well," said Maestri. "We rely on the 3-point shot a lot and if he can continue and shoot it well in game situations, he should help us there."