Mercer

Mercer men picked by coaches to win Southern Conference title

Mercer basketball head coach Bob Hoffman’s Bears were picked to win the Southern Conference regular-season title.
Mercer basketball head coach Bob Hoffman’s Bears were picked to win the Southern Conference regular-season title. wmarshall@macon.com

Bob Hoffman’s Mercer basketball team is coming off its first losing season since 2010-11, but the Southern Conference coaches have high expectations for the Bears this season.

Mercer was picked Wednesday by the conference’s coaches to win the regular-season title, edging Samford for the top spot. Mercer was picked to finish sixth by the conference’s media members with Furman taking the top spot.

Mercer senior guard Ria’n Holland was named to the preseason all-conference team

“It is always an honor to be picked first in anything, especially by your peers,” Hoffman said. “When they think your team has the ability to play for a championship, it is a great honor. But as we all know, it is a long time until March and we have to work really hard to get there. There are plenty of great teams and great coaches in this league that will have a lot to say about that in the end.”

Mercer finished 15-17 last year but has all five starters back from that team. Holland led the Bears in scoring a year ago with a 17.2 average. He also led the team in 3-point field goals made (77), steals (32), free throws made (102) and minutes per game (31.5).

Mercer opens its season No. 10 at Central Florida.

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