October 28, 1997
GREENVILLE -- Furman University senior Chuck Vincent has been selected as the Southern Conference Pre-Season Player-of-the-Year by the league's head coaches, it was announced earlier today at the conference's basketball tip-off in Greensboro, N.C.
Vincent, a 6-foot-7 forward from Durham, N.C. (Northern High School), and two-time consensus All-Southern Conference selection, was also named to the coaches 10-man pre-season all-conference team along with teammate Andre Kerr.
"It's very exciting to have two players named to the pre-season All-Southern Conference Team and to have one of your own players singled out as the league's premier player," said first year head coach Larry Davis Tuesday afternoon. "I'm especially happy for Chuck because he's a quality, talented performer who is one of the hardest working players I've ever been around.
"As a scorer, rebounder, and defender, he is outstanding, and he knows how to hold off an opponent," Davis added. "Having been an assistant at Minnesota the last three years, I can tell you that he (Chuck) would be a very fine player in the Big Ten or any league. He may not be as tall as some big men, but he can play the game. He would have been one of our top eight players last year at Minnesota (which posted a 31-4 record and advanced to the Final Four). We definitely won't be going down the floor many times this year without Chuck touching the basketball."
Now entering his fourth season as a starter, Vincent averaged 16.2 points and a league leading 9.7 rebounds as a junior a year ago. The league's freshman-of-the-year pick in 1995, Vincent is one of only 29 players in school history to score more than 1,000 points, and will enter the 1997-98 campaign ranked 20th on the school's scoring ledger with 1,179 points. Vincent ranks 12th on Furman's career rebounding chart with 718 boards.
Kerr, meanwhile, was named to the league's pre-season all-conference team despite missing almost the entire 1996-97 season with a back injury. As a freshman two years ago, the 6-foot-6 Kerr averaged 12.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game at the power forward slot. In Furman's final five regular season games, he averaged 20.8 points and 6.2 boards per game, and had a career high 29-point performance against eventual league tournament champion Western Carolina.
"Andre's healthy return to our lineup is a big key to our season because he's such a solid all-around player," said Davis. "He and Chuck (Vincent) should combine to give us a strong front court, and their presence in the lineup together should make a big difference in our performance as a team."
A consensus Southern Conference South Division third place pick, Furman returns four starters off last year's team. The Paladins open the 1997-98 season on Nov. 15 against Newberry in Greenville.