Jan. 27, 2011

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Rice rules the roost in Conference USA preseason poll


Defending regular-season champion Rice was picked to win again in Conference USA, in voting by the league’s head coaches and released by the conference office.


The Owls received six first-place votes. Rice was 17-7 in conference play and 40-23 overall a season ago. Southern Miss, the 2010 tourney champion, earned two first-place votes and came in second. East Carolina was third, with UCF notching one first-place vote and a spot in fourth place. Tulane was fifth, followed by Memphis, Houston, Marshall and UAB.


The 2011 season starts on Friday, Feb. 18. The conference tournament will be played at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss., from May 25-29. This will mark the first time the championship will be played at a neutral site. The tournament will use an eight-team pool-play format.


Conference USA Preseason Poll

Team (First Place) (2010 C-USA, Overall Records)

1. Rice (6) (17-7, 40-23)

2. Southern Miss (2) (14-10, 36-24)

3. East Carolina (11-13, 32-27)

4. UCF (1) (10-14, 33-22)

5. Tulane (10-14, 32-24)

6. Memphis (12-12, 28-30)

7. Houston (11-13, 25-32)

8. Marshall (12-12, 27-31)

9. UAB (11-13, 28-25)