Railsplitters picked to repeat as SAC champions

October 30, 2013

ROCK HILL, S.C. — The Lincoln Memorial University men’s basketball team was selected to win the South Atlantic Conference, while Vincent Bailey and Lorenzo Ross were tabbed with preseason All-SAC laurels, the conference office announced on Wednesday.

The Railsplitters compiled a 25-6 overall record with a 15-3 conference mark in 2012-13, which gave the program its second regular-season league title in three years. Lincoln Memorial was picked in a poll of SAC coaches to claim its third championship 2013-14. The Railsplitters earned 117 total points and seven of the 12 first place votes, narrowly ahead of Carson-Newman who collected 114 points and five first place votes for the second spot. Anderson finished third in the poll with 100 points.

Lincoln Memorial, ranked 13th in nation according to the Division II Bulletin’s season preview, heads into the upcoming season riding a number of impressive streaks. The Railsplitters have been ranked for 42 straight weeks in the NABC/Division II Coaches Poll, a SAC record. The Railsplitters have also amassed four straight 20-win seasons with three straight 25-win campaigns along with three straight appearances in the NCAA Southeast Regional.

Along with the results from the preseason coaches’ poll, the conference unveiled the selections for the preseason All-South Atlantic Conference teams. Senior Vincent Bailey earned the nod for the Preseason All-SAC First Team while junior Lorenzo Ross collected second team distinctions.

Bailey, a 6-7 forward, was an All-SAC First Teamer following last season. He led the Railsplitters with 13.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. As a junior, Bailey tallied double-figure scoring in 23 of his 28 appearances including a stretch of 12 straight double-digit performances to end the season with at least 20 points in five of those contests.

Bailey heads into the 2013-14 season with 854 career points, 489 rebounds (13th in school history) and 57 blocks (11th) while carrying a career .601 shooting percentage which ranks second in school history. With 146 more points, Bailey will become the 24th player to record 1,000 career points at Lincoln Memorial University.

Ross was named to the All-SAC second team following last season. Listed at 6-3 and 195 pounds, Ross averaged 10.2 points, three assists and 2.5 rebounds per game. He posted double-figures in 16 of his 29 appearances including a 20-point outing in LMU’s NCAA Southeast Regional win over UNC Pembroke. Ross knocked down 45.1 percent of his shots with a 41.5 percent clip from behind the three-point arc. He also handed out 86 assists while wrangling 73 rebounds.

The Railsplitters kickoff the 2013-14 season on Nov. 9, welcoming Hiwassee to Tex Turner Arena for a non-conference bout at 7 p.m.. South Atlantic Conference play begins shortly after that date, as the Railsplitters travel to Mars Hill on Nov. 20.

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2013-14 SAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Team - Points (1st-place)

1. Lincoln Memorial - 117 (7)

2. Carson-Newman - 114 (5)

3. Anderson - 100

4. Wingate - 83

5. Newberry - 71

6. Queens - 66

7. Lenoir-Rhyne - 65

8. Catawba - 60

9. Tusculum - 36

10. Coker - 34

11. Brevard - 31

12. Mars Hill - 15

Preseason All-Conference

First Team

Antoine Davis, C-N

Chandler Hash, AU

Ishmael Sanders, C-N

Vincent Bailey, LMU

Tyrece Little, CAT

Dondray Walker, NEW

Second Team

Lorenza Ross, LMU

Deion Turman, WU

Ryan Daye, WU

Julian Nelson, COK

Elon Edwards,CAT

R.J. McClure, L-R