Mocs Jake Stephens Named SoCon Preseason Player of the Year

( SPARTANBURG, S.C. — With the Southern Conference media day underway on Wednesday at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in Asheville, N.C., the league office announced Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball graduate transfer Jake Stephens as the Preseason Player of the Year following a vote among fellow league coaches.

In addition to the individual laurel, Chattanooga received a pair of first-place votes and was picked to finish second in the media poll behind Furman, who totaled 18 first-place votes. In the coaches poll, the Mocs were slotted fourth behind Furman, Samford and UNCG, respectively.

Stephens, who played at league foe VMI the past four seasons, finished second in the SoCon last season behind Malachi Smith with a 19.6 points per game average. The seven-footer posted 17 games with 20 or more points in 2021-22 and shot a blistering 49.6% from three and 55.1% from the floor, which ranked atop the SoCon and 37th nationally.

Chattanooga opens the regular season on Monday, November 7 when it travels to face College of Charleston inside TD Arena. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. ET and will be LIVE on FloHoops. Game coverage links will be made available on the schedule page when available.

Full preseason voting as well as relative information leading up to first tip can be found below.

Preseason Southern Conference Player of the Year
Jake Stephens, Gr., C, Chattanooga

Preseason All-Southern Conference team
Jordan King, Jr., G, ETSU
Mike Bothwell, 5th, G, Furman
Jalen Slawson, 5th, F, Furman
Logan Dye, Sr., F, Samford
Ques Glover, Jr., G, Samford
Jermaine Marshall, Jr., F , Samford
Bubba Parham, Sr., G, Samford
Jake Stephens, Gr., C, Chattanooga
Messiah Jones, Sr., F, Wofford
B.J. Mack, Sr., F/C, Wofford

Preseason Coaches Poll
Team (1st-place votes)  Points
1. Furman (6)     78
2. Samford (4)   74
3. UNCG              63
4. Chattanooga 60
5. Wofford          41
6. ETSU 40
7. Mercer            39
8. Western Carolina        29
9. The Citadel     17
10. VMI 9

Preseason Media Poll
Team (1st-place votes)  Points
1. Furman (18)   263
2. Chattanooga (3)          231
3. Samford (5)   223
4. UNCG (1)        201
5. Wofford          168
6. ETSU 138
7. Mercer (1)      137
8. Western Carolina        79
9. The Citadel     57
10. VMI 43

Categories: Sports – Local Sports News, Sports – UTC Mocs