DII Bulletin has Railsplitters 13th
BEAVERTON, Ore. — The Lincoln Memorial University men’s basketball team is ranked 13th in the Division II Bulletin Preseason Poll, and also picked to repeat as South Atlantic Conference regular-season champions by the publication on Monday.
The Railsplitters are coming off a 25-6 overall record with a 15-3 mark in SAC play last year. LMU captured its second conference regular-season title last March with an 82-65 victory over Catawba.
The 2012-13 season also saw the Railsplitters extend a number of significant streaks. First and foremost, Lincoln Memorial pushed its SAC record streak to 42 straight weeks ranked in the NABC/Division II Coaches Poll. The Railsplitters also tallied their fourth straight 20-win season, third consecutive 25-win season, and the third straight appearance in the NCAA Southeast Regional.
The Railsplitters return seven of their top 11 scorers including the dynamic duo of senior Vincent Bailey (Jennings, Fla.) and junior Lorenza Ross (Savannah, Ga).
Bailey, a 6-7, 245-pound forward, led the Railsplitters in scoring and rebounding last season in route to garnering All-SAC First Team laurels. The Sporting News Preseason All-America Honorable Mention selection scored 13.5 points a night with 7.4 boards per outing. Ross, a 6-3 guard, was named All-SAC Second Team in 2012-13 after posting 10.2 points per game.
Lincoln Memorial also welcomes the return of Chance Jones (Knoxville) and C.J. Wakeley (Alachua, Fla.) in the back court. Jones came on strong late last season and scored in double-figures in four of his last six games including a career-high 18 points in the semifinals of the Southeast Regional versus Barton. Wakeley was averaging 4.4 points before an injury at Lenoir-Rhyne sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
Tim Pierce (Albany, Ga.) looks to play a significant role in the offensive attack this season after earning SAC All-Freshman Team distinctions in 2012-13 behind 4.7 points a night. Pierce drained 14 of his 35 three point attempts for a 40 percent clip.
Lincoln Memorial was one of three teams from the SAC represented in the DII Bulletin Poll, as Carson-Newman was 21st while Anderson earned votes but fell just outside of the top 25. Carson-Newman was fourth in the league last season with a 12-6 conference mark and a 20-8 overall. Anderson earned a share of second place in the final league standings with a 14-4 SAC mark.
Along with the national preseason poll results, the DII Bulletin 2013-14 Preseason Preview predicted the regular-season finishes within each conference. The Railsplitters were picked to repeat last season’s regular-season title while Carson-Newman and Anderson were picked second and third respectively.
The Railsplitters are scheduled to open the 2013-14 campaign on Nov. 9 as they welcome Hiwassee to Tex Turner Arena for a nonconference battle. South Atlantic Conference play gets underway on Nov. 20 when the Railsplitters travel to Mars Hill to take on the Lions.
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