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Women's Basketball Tabbed 4th, Men 5th in the North at Annual SoCon Media Day

Nov. 1, 2006

Quotes from WCU head coaches Kellie  Harper and Larry  Hunter

Greenville, S.C. - Reigning Southern Conference Freshman of the Year, Western Carolina sophomore guard Lauren Powell, was the lone Catamount named to the preseason all-conference teams as selected by the league's head coaches and released today in conjunction with the annual SoCon Basketball Tip-Off at the Hilton Greenville. The Lady Catamounts were tabbed fourth in the 10-team league, while the Catamount men were predicted to finish fifth in the SoCon's North Division.

Receiving five first-place votes, last season's tournament runner-up, UNC Greensboro, was predicted to claim the women's regular season title, edging defending regular season and tournament champion, Chattanooga, by one vote. Davidson received one first-place vote and was tabbed third, followed by Western and Georgia Southern rounding out the top five. The College of Charleston was selected sixth, followed by Furman, Appalachian State, Elon, and Wofford rounding out the order of finish.

The eleven first-place votes were divided among four of the five teams in the North Division, with UNC Greensboro garnering four and 44 total points to be the preseason favorite. Appalachian State had three, first-place votes in second, followed by Elon and Chattanooga each with two and Western Carolina in fifth in the smaller of the two divisions. Behind new head coach Bobby Cremins, the College of Charleston received 10 of the 11 first-place votes in the South Division with Furman earning the other top vote to be predicted second. Georgia Southern was tabbed third, followed by Davidson, Wofford, and The Citadel.

Powell (Asheville, N.C.) played in all 29 games for the Lady Catamounts last season, making a team-best 24 appearances in the starting five. Leading Western in scoring 10 times, Powell's 11.3 points per game average not only led WCU, but also ranked tops among SoCon freshmen and 10th overall. She reached double-figures in scoring in 19 of the 29 games en route to becoming the fourth Lady Cat to earn SoCon Freshman of the Year accolades, joining the likes of Pam Owens (1994), April Fleck (1998) and Tiffany Hamm (2001). In addition, Powell was named second team All-SoCon by the media, which gave WCU a member on the honorary squad for the seventh-straight season, as well as to the All-Freshman squad, Western's fifth in the past six years.

For the season, the sharp-shooting guard connected on 42.4-percent of her 3-point attempts to not only rank third in the league, but also second among all freshmen in the NCAA. She also ranked third nationally among first-year players in 3-point field goals made (64) and second in fewest turnovers per 40 minutes (1.96). Powell's 64 made 3-point field goals ranked fourth in WCU's single-season records, while her 151 attempts ranked as the sixth-most in a season. Entering her second season, she already ranks eighth on WCU's career 3-pointers made chart, 116 made 3's shy of first.

The Lady Catamounts open competition this Saturday, Nov. 4 at 4:00 pm in the Ramsey Center as they host the Mars Hill Lions in exhibition action. Next Thursday, Nov. 9, WCU athletics, in association with the WCU Student Government Association (SGA), Residential Student Association (RSA) and Carolina Sport Court (, will host Catamount Madness: Cats After Dark, on the lawn of the Hinds University Center from 6:00 pm until 9:00 pm. The free festival event will feature games, food & drink, music, and the introduction of the 2006-07 Catamount men's and Lady Catamount women's basketball teams.

The following night (Nov. 10), Western's women open their 2006-07 regular season by hosting the Auburn Tigers at 7:00 pm in the Ramsey Center. Immediately following the conclusion of the women's game, the Catamount men's squad will entertain Muskingum in exhibition action. Tip-off for the men's contest is tentatively slated for 9:30 pm.

2006-07 Women's Basketball Predicted Order of Finish
Team (First Place Votes)      Votes
 1. UNC Greensboro (5)          74
 2. Chattanooga (4)             73
 3. Davidson (1)                67
 4. Western Carolina            55
 5. Georgia Southern            44
 6. College of Charleston       37
 7. Furman                      34
 8. Appalachian State           29
 9. Elon                        19
10. Wofford                     18
2006-07 Women's Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team

Name, Team Votes Cl. Pos. Ht. PPG RPG APG Kristen Boone (UNCG) 85 Jr. G 5-5 12.8 4.3 4.7 Alex Anderson (UTC) 84 Jr. F/G 6-1 11.0 8.3 2.5 Katie Hamilton (DAV) 51 Jr. G 5-11 - DNP in 2005-06 - Whitney Tossie (ASU) 48 Jr. G 5-9 8.7 3.6 4.0 Jessica Mitchell (DAV) 43 Sr. G 5-9 11.6 3.8 3.3 Jade Hughes (CofC) 42 So. G 5-6 11.4 2.4 3.2 Lauren Powell (WCU) 41 So. G 6-0 11.3 2.7 0.6 Jasmine Byrd (UNCG) 28 Sr. G 5-7 8.4 2.1 1.6 Tiffany Brown (GSU) 25 Jr. G 5-5 10.5 2.4 2.1 Laura Hall (UTC) 25 Jr. G 5-5 6.2 2.3 3.4

2006-07 Men's Basketball Predicted Order of Finish

North Division Team (First Place Votes) Votes 1. UNC Greensboro (4) 44 2. Appalachian State (3) 40 3. Elon (2) 33 4. Chattanooga (2) 29 5. Western Carolina 14

South Division Team (First Place Votes) Votes 1. College of Charleston (10) 60 2. Furman (1) 48 3. Georgia Southern 42 4. Davidson 32 5. Wofford 24 6. The Citadel 14

2006-07 Men's Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team

Name, Team Votes Cl. Pos. Ht. PPG RPG APG Dontaye Draper (CofC) 94 Sr. G 5-11 18.5 2.6 3.2 Kyle Hines (UNCG) 94 Jr. F 6-6 19.3 8.2 1.9 D.J. Thompson (ASU) 75 Sr. G 5-8 19.1 3.7 4.4 Ricky Hickman (UNCG) 59 Sr. G 6-3 18.7 4.3 2.4 Robby Bostain (FUR) 59 Sr. F 6-6 14.1 5.7 3.4 Chris Challko (Elon) 53 Sr. F 6-8 12.6 4.5 0.6 Louis Graham (GSU) 29 Jr. F 6-8 11.4 7.4 0.4 Josh Jackson (CofC) 28 Jr. C 6-8 12.6 5.8 0.6 Moussa Diagne (FUR) 19 Sr. F 6-8 11.8 4.9 1.0 Donte Gennie (GSU) 17 Sr. G 6-1 12.7 3.1 3.0