SoCon Basketball Coaches Pick UTC Women Picked to Finish 2nd in the League


(, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s basketball team was picked to finish second by the Southern Conference coaches in the preseason poll released today by the conference office. The league media picked the Mocs, one of three teams to share the title last season, to win it all this year.

Senior Bria Dial and junior Eboni Williams were named to the SoCon Preseason All-Conference team.

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The Mocs received one first place vote in the coaches poll and finished with 39 points, six behind favorite Mercer. The Bears’ senior guard Shannon Titus was selected the Preseason Player of the Year. Samford was third in the poll with 33 points, two points ahead of Furman who received one vote. UNCG, fifth in the standings earned the final vote and finished fifth in the poll with 30 points. Wofford, ETSU and Western Carolina rounded out the scoring.

Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team or student-athletes.

In the SCSMA poll, UTC received eight of the possible 18 first place votes and finished first ahead of Samford with 115 points. The Bulldogs were second with four votes and 111 points while Mercer was picked third by the media with 100 points and two first place votes. Furman received three first place votes and UNCG picked up the final vote and both tied in the poll for fourth with 89 points.

Chattanooga tied with UNCG and Samford last season for its 22nd SoCon regular season title and earned the league’s automatic bid to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.

Dial and Williams are the Mocs’ top two returning scorers. Dial earned all-conference honors by the SCSMA last season and Williams was the 2019 SoCon Freshman of the Year. The duo combined for 36 percent of Chattanooga’s scoring and 23 percent of its rebounding. Williams led the team in steals and was second in assists while Dial was second on the team in steals and blocked shots.

Each team placed at least on student-athlete on the preseason team with the Mocs and Mercer each getting two.

Chattanooga opens the season Wednesday, November 25 at Tennessee State. The Mocs will host Tennessee Tech in the home opener on Sunday, Nov. 29.


2020-21 Preseason Southern Conference Coaches Poll

Pl Team (1st-place votes) Total
1 Mercer (5) 45
2 Chattanooga (1) 39
3 Samford 33
4 Furman (1) 31
5 UNCG (1) 30
6 Wofford 24
7 ETSU 15
8 Western Carolina 7


2020-21 Preseason Player of the Year

Shannon Titus, Sr., G/F, Mercer


2020-21 Preseason All-Southern Conference Team

E’Lease Stafford, Jr., G/F, ETSU

Tierra Hodges, R-Sr., G/F, Furman

Jaron Dougherty, Jr., F, Mercer

Shannon Titus, Sr., G/F, Mercer

Aja Boyd, R-Sr., F/G, UNCG

Natalie Armstrong, Sr., F, Samford

Bria Dial, Sr., G, Chattanooga

Eboni Williams, Jr., F, Chattanooga

Lauren LaPlant, R-Sr., G, Western Carolina

Jamari McDavid, Sr., F, Wofford


2020-21 Preseason Southern Conference Media Poll

Pl Team (1st-place votes) Total
1 Chattanooga (8) 115
2 Samford (4) 111
3 Mercer (2) 100
4 Furman (3) 89
UNCG (1) 89
6 Wofford 68
7 ETSU 52
8 Western Carolina 24




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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at