SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The SIAC tournament heads back to Savannah. The conference announced the decision at this year’s media day for men’s and women’s basketball.

The opening round through the semifinal rounds will be on the campus of Savannah State University. But this year, the championship rounds will be held at Enmarket Arena. SIAC Commissioner Anthony Holloman said this is a one-year deal, but it could be something more.

“So we’re working on a multi-year deal,” Holloman said. “Right now, we have a one-year deal in place. But our goal is to make this a home. So we look forward to coming back to Savannah for multiple years.”

Also at media day, the preseason coach’s poll was released on the women’s side. Savannah State is predicted to finish second in the east behind my alma mater – Clark Atlanta University.

Last year, the women finished 17-8 and lost in the first round of the conference tournament. Savannah State brings back the preseason defensive player of the year – Amber Heard who is the fifth-year senior said she was not surprised to receive the honor.

“I wasn’t, but Coach Baker was,” Heard said. “He was like, ‘You don’t play no defense.’ I’m like, ‘I’m a defensive player. I get out and get those steals.’ I wasn’t shocked. I think I am a defensive player. I could use my length more to my advantage. So I’m going to do that this year as well. Knowing that I got that, it means a lot to me.”

On the men’s side, the Tigers were picked to finish third in the East. Last year, the men went 15-8 overall and they were actually one win away from completing the first perfect home season in the modern era. However, they fell to Morehouse after leading by 20 points in the second half. The men also lost in the first round of the SIAC tournament. This year, they are going to have to replace all-siac performer Eliek Bowles. The former Johnson High star graduated and they hope Ayjay Plain will fill his role.

“He has a lot to work with,” head coach Horace Broadnax said. “He was on the championship team in 2022. He had seniors on that team. Then last year, he had seniors to protect him. This year, he doesn’t have that protection. That’s going to be interesting to see how he develops as a leader.”

The Savannah State men open the season on Nov. 10 against Florida Southern College.

The women open the season on Nov. 17 against Trinity Baptist College.