King takes the Top Spot in Men’s Basketball Coaches Preseason Poll

High Point, NC - King University has been picked to finish first as voted on by the league’s nine men’s basketball coaches. The Tornado finished third in the standings a season ago with a league mark of 14-6, but they were only one game out of first place. The Tornado only lost two players from a team that posted an overall record of 19-8 last season. However, head coach George Pitts will have to replace two all-conference players from last season, Eddie Piccinini and Jason Seymore.

This season, a trio of seniors will lead King: Michael Fortune, Brandon Crompton and Scottie Hendricks. Also returning for Pitts this season is junior Logan Lyle who was an all-conference performer a last year. Lyle led the Tornado with an average of 14.3 points per game, and also ranked seventh in Conference Carolinas with a three-point field goal percentage of 41.6 a season ago.

“Conference Carolinas is one of the best leagues in NCAA Division II basketball, and anyone is capable of winning the league,” commented Pitts. “Hopefully we can finish at the end of the year where we are picked now. However, that will be extremely difficulty considering the depth of our league and the quality of play that you see every night in Conference Carolinas.”

Limestone College has been picked to finish second as voted on by the league’s nine men’s basketball coaches. The Saints went 21-9 overall last season, 13-3 in Conference Carolinas to earn a share of the regular season title and reached the league championship game for the second time in three seasons. Those performances earned them the No. 5 Seed in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional where they dropped a narrow 65-60 decision to No. 25 Wingate.

While Limestone will be without a number of key performers from last year’s team, the Saints return senior guard PJ Foster (Leesburg, Fla.), senior forward Jamal McNeill (Kernersville, N.C.) and senior guard Rashod Chavis (Butner, N.C.). In his first season in a Limestone uniform, Foster burst onto the scene with averages of 11.5 points, 2.0 assists, 2.0 rebounds, 0.6 steals and shot .421 from the field, .419 from beyond the arc and .800 from the foul line.

The Barton College men’s basketball team has been picked to finish third as voted on by the league’s nine men’s basketball coaches. The Bulldogs hope to continue the momentum gained from two straight trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament, including the school’s third appearance in the Regional Finals (Sweet 16) in 2012-13. However, it will have to do so without last year’s Conference Carolinas Player of the Year and All-American, Gerald Boston. The Bulldogs also graduated four other seniors from last year’s squad that finished 23-8 overall and 15-5 in the league, good for a share of the regular-season title.

The Bulldogs’ leading returnee is Chris Flemmings, a 6-5 guard from Cary, N.C., who averaged 10.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per contest in 2012, and was Barton’s leading 3-point shooter, making 64 of 144 (.444). Head coach Ron Lievense, who has led Barton to seven NCAA tournament appearances, returns seven other letter winners who have seen significant playing time coming off the bench.

Mount Olive finished fourth in the poll with Erskine fifth followed by Belmont Abbey, North Greenville, Pfeiffer, and Lee-McRae College respectively rounding-out the poll standings.

 

Conference Carolinas Men's Basketball Pre-Season Poll 

(# of First Place Votes in Parenthesis)

 

 

King

59

(4)

Limestone

51

(1)

Barton

48

(1)

Mount Olive

43

 

Erskine

41

 

Belmont Abbey

37

 

North Greenville

18

 

Pfeiffer

16

 

Lees-McRae

11

 

 

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