Valdosta State hoops expected to have big seasons - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta State hoops expected to have big seasons

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By Robert Hydrick - bio | email 

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - On the first day of practice for Division II basketball teams, the Valdosta State Blazers and Lady Blazers both had bullseyes placed on their back.

Gulf South coaches have picked the Blazers and Lady Blazer hoop teams to win the division titles.

The Valdosta State men are also the preseason choice to win the conference title.

With seven seniors returning from a team that lost in last year's championship game, the Blazers are ranked as high as 4th in the national DII polls.

The Lady Blazers have four starters back from a team that won 21 games and add former Randolph-Clay star Brittany Daniels.

Both coaches know preseason picks mean nothing in March.

Blazers head coach Mike Helfer said. "I told somebody that it is better the guy that is being talked about than talking with people about somebody else. We have got to understand that is going to take hard work, chemistry and all those issues to make sure we are on the right path."

Lady Blazers head coach Kiley Hill said. "So, it is going to be a tough race. Which it always is. My big thing is to jump on a bus for us is our ability to hop on a bus and be able to compete 6,7, 8 hours away. Shows how tough we can be."

The VSU women open the season at home November 15th against Lander.

The Blazers season opener is the 16th against Carver College at the VSU Complex.

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