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NORFOLK, VA — Senior forward Damani Applewhite was named to the Preseason All-MEAC First Team, while South Carolina State was picked to finished fifth in the preseason poll, voted on by the coaches and sports information directors around the league.

The Bulldogs return veteran team with nine letter winners from last year’s roster.

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“We don't put much stock on predicted order of finish, it is all about the journey of the season,” said SC State head coach Murray Garvin. “Everyone is 0-0 right now. I said this earlier and I will say it again, that barring injuries I really like our chances come March.

"Our focus right now is to get better every day, and keep growing as a basketball team. Our toughest opponent is in the mirror.”

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Applewhite (6-8, 200, Forward) a native of Fayetteville, N.C. led SC State in scoring last season with 16.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, while earning All-MEAC Third Team honors.

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“Damani has risen from a freshman where he averaged 1.7 points per contest, “noted Garvin. “This is a credit to his work ethic and the development implemented by our coaching staff, strength and conditioning staff and the nurturing environment here at SC State.

"I do know that Applewhite is proud of his personal accomplishments, but is mainly focused on leading us to a MEAC Championship.”

Defending MEAC Champion NC Central was picked to win league title, followed by Bethune-Cookman, North Carolina A&T State, SC State, Howard, Coppin State, Morgan State, Florida A&M, Delaware State and Maryland Eastern Shore.

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Senior forward Taylor Brown was named to the preseason All-MEAC First Team, while the South Carolina State Lady Bulldogs were picked to finished sixth in the preseason poll voted on by the coaches and sports information directors around the league.

The Lady Bulldogs are coming off a 16-16 overall, 8-6 MEAC finish last season under first-year head coach Audra Smith.

Brown (6-0, Sr., forward) a native of Patterson, N.J. led SC State last season in scoring with 13.9 points and 9.1 rebounds per contest, while being named All-MEAC Third Team for her efforts.

Meanwhile, North Carolina A&T was picked to win the league title, followed by Bethune-Cookman, Howard, Norfolk State and Maryland Eastern Shore to round out the top five.

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