March 9, 2004
Valdosta- After leading Valdosta State to their second eastern division title and the top seed in the NCAA Division II's south region, Gulf South Conference coaches have voted Blazer coach Jim Yarbrough coach of the year.
It is the first time Yarbrough has won the GSC coach of the year honor in just his fourth season at Valdosta State.
The Blazers, ranked third in the last national poll of the season, tied a school record with 25 wins and posted a 13-1 regular season conference record.
Two of Yarbrough's players made the GSC all-conference teams.
Senior forward Ernest Scott, the Blazers leading scorer, is a first team all-GSC selection and freshman guard Mike Crain is a second team pick.
The Blazers are also back in the NCAA Division II tournament for a second time in the last three years where Valdosta State is hosting the south regional for the first time in school history.
Their first round opponent is a very familiar foe in Gulf South Conference champion Montevallo.
It will be the fourth meeting this season between these two team with the Falcons winning by three in the semifinals of the conference tournament last Saturday.
Jim Yarbrough said "You know a couple of years ago we played West Georgia four times in one season and now it is going to be Montevallo but it is certainly exciting for us to be back in the NCAA tournament two times in the last three years."
Valdosta State plays Montevallo at 8:30pm Saturday night at the VSU Complex.
It will be the fourth and final game of the day.
Eckerd plays Florida Southern at 12:00pm followed by SIAC champion Benedict and Rollins at 2:30pm
The first game of the evening session is Morehouse facing Henderson State at 6:00pm.
The semifinals are at 5:00pm and 7:30pm on Sunday and the regional final is at 7:00pm Tuesday night at the Valdosta State complex.
The south region winner advances to the Elite Eight on March 24-27 at California State-Bakersfield University.
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