AMERICUS -- The history-making ways of the Georgia Southwestern men's basketball program continued Tuesday.
The Peach Belt Conference announced its Preseason All-Conference team, and the Hurricanes were represented by not one, but two players for the first time in school history.
Senior Phillip Brown and sophomore Colin Slotter were both named to the five-member team.
It marked the first time in school history that GSW, ranked No. 18 in the nation to start the year, has had more than one member on a single preseason PBC All-Conference team in any sport. It was only the second time in program history that a men's basketball player was named to a preseason all-conference team. Anthony Sargent was voted to the 2008-09 PBC Preseason All-Conference team three seasons ago.
For Brown, the conference preseason accolades are part of a long list of awards already garnered. The reigning PBC Player of the Year was named a Preseason All-American by the Division II Bulletin and the Sporting News, and he was also a 2010-11 First Team PBC All-Conference member.
Brown ranked near the top of D-II in several categories, as well, including rebounds per game (fifth), field goal percentage (13th) and blocks (21st). The 6-foot-7 Jonesboro native recorded 14 double-doubles last season and scored in double-figures on 24 occasions. In addition, he pulled down double-figure rebounds 16 times.
Slotter is the reigning PBC Freshman of the Year and a member of the Third Team PBC All-Conference team. His conference Freshman of the Year award was the first ever in GSW Athletics history.
The Marietta native also led the Hurricanes in scoring at 15.0 points per game.
GSW TAPPED TO WIN WEST DIVISION AGAIN: After making history with individual preseason conference awards, it was a team effort that made history in Tuesday's preseason conference poll.
Garnering 10 out of a possible 12 first-places votes, the Georgia Southwestern Hurricanes were voted the preseason favorites to win the Peach Belt Conference in the 2011-12 season. It marks the first time ever that a GSW team of any sport won a preseason poll as a Division II member.
The Blue and Gold are riding high after a historic 2010-11 season of 20 wins and nine losses. The 13-win improvement from the year before was just the tip of the iceberg. The 2010-2011 season included GSW's first NCAA Division II men's basketball national ranking, first Peach Belt Conference division title in any sport, first NCAA Division II National Tournament appearance in any sport, first Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year and first NCAA All-American in any sport. GSW spent five weeks ranked in the Top 25, reaching as high as No. 16, and finished the season with a 20-9 record. Southwestern was well-represented on the Peach Belt All-Conference Teams, as well, with players on the First, Second and Third Teams. It's a list of accomplishments that was recognized and respected by head coach Mike Leeder's peers, as he was named the Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year.
HURRICANES ROLL IN EXHIBITION GAME: On a Halloween Night that helped commemorate their first-ever PBC Division title and NCAA Division II Tournament appearance, GSW brought a victorious effort to Monday night's exhibition against Baseline USA. A tight first half stayed that way in the second half as the Hurricanes settled for a 69-57 win.
GSW was led by reigning PBC Player of the Year Brown, who tallied 22 points to go along with his six rebounds. He was one of four players in double figures in scoring for the Blue & Gold, which included Slotter (16 points), newcomer Milos Kleut (13 points) and Evan Mobley (12 points).
The first half was a tight affair that saw several lead changes with Georgia Southwestern holding on to a single digit lead for a majority of the game's first 20 minutes. The Hurricanes headed into the break with a 30-27 lead.
The second half offense was paced by Brown, who scored 14 of his 22 in the second frame. Much like the entire evening, the second half offense involved transfer point guard Marlon Rivera. Rivera had four of his seven assists in the half. He finished the game without scoring but tallied an impressive nine rebounds, seven assists and two steals.
The Hurricanes now look ahead to their final exhibition tune-up as they head to Tallahassee, Fla., to take on the Florida State Seminoles. FSU, fresh off its "Sweet 16" NCAA Tournament appearance, will host the Hurricanes at 7 p.m. on Monday at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
After rounding out their exhibition schedule at Florida State, the Hurricanes will officially begin their 2011-12 campaign with their home opener against Trinity Baptist on Nov. 15 at 7:30 pm.