WINTER PARK, Fla. -- Barry University men's basketball team was picked eighth in the Sunshine State Conference preseason poll released Wednesday.
The Buccaneers went 13-14 overall, 6-10 in the conference a year ago, losing in the quarterfinals of the SSC Tournament to No. 10-ranked Florida Southern.
This year Barry has a new coach, two new assistant coaches and 10 new players, three of which are NCAA Division I transfers. Optimism runs high within the inner circles of the Buccaneers locker room, but they also aren't promising an overnight evolution.
"I was kidding with my assistants," first-year coach Butch Estes said at the team's media day. "This is not an Atlanta to West Palm Beach flight. This is a Seattle to Miami flight or Miami to Seattle flight. This is a cross-continental journey. It's gonna take some time.
"I was telling somebody this morning, we're like a bunch of first graders who just got off the bus and we're going into the school for the first time, and we really don't know exactly where to go."
Barry's last winning season came in 2009-10 when the Buccaneers went 20-12 overall, 8-8 in the league. And while that's been a while since the Bucs were above the break-even point, that's not to say they don't want to see immediate results.
"As the new head coach at Barry for these guys, the future for us is tonight and tomorrow night and this season," Estes said. "We're not waiting two years or three years or four years to try to be good. We want to be good as soon as we possibly can."
Florida Southern was ranked 14th in the Division II Bulletin preseason top-25 poll. Florida Tech received votes. Saint Leo's Jerrell Harris was named a Division II Bulletin Super 16 preseason All-American.
Barry play an exhibition game at Division I South Florida on Nov. 4 at the Sun Dome in Tampa. The Bucs open the regular season at Johnson & Wales' Wildcat Center in North Miami on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.
2013-14 Sunshine State Conference Preseason Men's Basketball Poll
Rank - Team, Points (1st-place votes)
1 - Florida Southern, 63 (7)
2 - Florida Tech, 53 (2)
3 - Saint Leo, 46
4 - Rollins, 44
5 - Eckerd, 31
6 - Lynn, 28
7 - Nova Southeastern, 21
T8 - Barry, 19
T8 - Tampa, 19