Defending OVC tournament champion Belmont was picked first in the East, garnering 17 first-place votes. Morehead State was second, followed by Tennessee State in third. Following JSU is Eastern Kentucky in fifth place and Tennessee Tech in sixth.
Southeast Missouri State was picked to win the West, followed by Austin Peay, Eastern Illinois, Southern Illinois Edwardsville, Tennessee Martin and Murray State.
The Gamecocks finished 14-17 last year, including 8-8 in the OVC, and return nine players from that squad.