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CHARLOTTE, NC (September 25, 2023)  – After a pair of successful seasons, the expectations will be high for the Claflin University men’s and women’s basketball teams. On Monday morning, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) announced its 2023 Preseason Predicted Order of Finish where the Panthers were picked to finish second overall and second in the CIAA Southern Division and the Lady Panthers were picked to finish sixth overall and third in the CIAA Southern Division.

The Panthers earned their preseason ranking after a tremendous 2022-23 season, after shocking everyone with a 19-7 overall record and a 10-6 CIAA record last season. The team finished the regular season in second place in the CIAA Southern Division. The Panthers will return their top two scorers from last season as senior guard Jailen Williams who totaled 310 points and averaged 11.9 points per game last season. Fellow senior guard Bryson Dennis added 266 total points and averaged 11.1 points per game.

Though not as high as the Panthers’ ranking, the Lady Panthers earned an impressive ranking of their own after being picked to finish sixth in the preseason poll. The team earned the ranking after winning five more games than in their previous season. The Lady Panthers will return three of their top four scorers from last season. Senior guard Nya Morris led the team with 314 total points and averaging 12.1 points per game. Junior guard Lauren Scott totaled 301 points and she averaged 11.6 points per game. Also returning will be junior guard Janelle Sample, who totaled 197 points and averaging 7.6 points per game.

The Claflin University teams will open practice in October. The Lady Panthers will open the 2023-24 season on Monday, November 13th against the Allen Yellowjackets while the Panthers will open the season on Saturday, November 18th against the Coker Cobras.

For more information on Claflin University basketball, contact the Claflin University Office of Athletics Media Relations at (803) 535-5548 or log on to www.athletics.claflin.edu.

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