HARROGATE, Tenn. — The Lincoln Memorial University men’s basketball team opens the 2013-14 campaign on Saturday at 7 p.m. inside Tex Turner Arena against non-conference foe Hiwassee.
The Railsplitters return seven players from last season’s South Atlantic Conference regular season championship squad that finished with a 25-6 overall record. That core group is headlined by senior Vincent Bailey and junior Lorenza Ross who both collected preseason All-SAC honors.
Bailey, a preseason All-SAC first teamer, led the Railsplitters in scoring and rebounding last year, putting in 13.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. The Jennings, Fla., native connected on 60.8 percent of his shots, tallying 23 double-digit scoring outings and recording seven double-double efforts.
Ross was an All-SAC second team selection at the end of the 2012-13 season after the 6-3, 195-pound guard averaged 10.2 points per game while handing out a team-leading 86 assists. Ross posted double-figures in 16 games last season including a career-high 20 points in LMU’s NCAA Southeast Regional win over UNC Pembroke.
Ross will be paired in the backcourt with a solid group of returning players as senior Chance Jones, sophomoreTim Pierce and junior C.J. Wakeley are back for the Railsplitters this season.
Along with Bailey, the front court will be buoyed by the return of junior Keenan Peterson and sophomore Curtis McMillion. P
The Railsplitters’ rotation will be comprised of six newcomers for the 2013-14 campaign, five of which red-shirted last season to spend a year getting acclimated to head coach Josh Schertz’s system.
Four of those five newcomers are in the backcourt as Curtis Webb (Spartanburg, S.C.), Ray Mobley (Atlanta, Ga.), Luquon Choice (Laurens, S.C.) and Hunter Spaw (Bean Station, Tenn.) are set to make their debut for the Railsplitters.
LMU’s low post rotation will benefit from the addition of Paul Woodson (Cincinnati), a long, lanky and athletic forward.
Dawud Fisher-Grace (Bedford, Ohio) is the lone true freshman the LMU faithful can expect to see on the court for the Railsplitters this season. At 6-10, 295 points, he’ll be hard to miss.
The Railsplitters have put together three straight 25-win seasons with two SAC regular season titles and one SAC Tournament championship. They are riding a 42-week string of being ranked in the NABC/Division II Coaches Poll.
SAC coaches have picked the Railsplitters to repeat as conference champs this season and LMU is also ranked in the top 25 by two different publications. Lincoln Memorial came in at No. 15 in the NABC/Division II Coaches Poll while the Division II Bulletin tabbed the Railsplitters at No. 13 in its preseason poll.