Basketball (M)

Men's Basketball Tabbed Sixth in SAC Preseason Poll

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ROCK HILL, S.C. (TheSAC.com) -- The Catawba men’s basketball team was picked sixth in the 2018-2019 South Atlantic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, released by the conference office on Wednesday. Lincoln Memorial has been picked to win the championship as voted by the league’s head coaches. The Railsplitters picked up seven first place votes and a total of 107 points in the poll.
 
Catawba claimed 70 points in the voting and were in a close race for the top four with Wingate and Lenoir-Rhyne. The Indians were hobbled by injuries a year ago and posted an 11-15 overall record with a 7-13 mark in the league.

LMU went 32-2 and was a perfect 20-0 in South Atlantic Conference play last season, notching the program's fourth consecutive 30-win season and sixth straight SAC regular-season title. For the third time in four seasons, the Railsplitters finished the year ranked No. 1 in the national poll and hosted the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional at Tex Turner Arena.
 
They are a preseason No. 4 pick nationally in both the Division II Bulletin and Street & Smith, while the NABC Coaches’ Poll has the Railsplitters ranked at No. 3.
 
Earning the No. 2 spot in the preseason poll was Queens. The Royals earned four first place votes and 104 total points. Queens is coming off its best season in program history. The 2017-2018 Royals went 32-4 and advanced to the national semifinals. The Royals are ranked No. 11 nationally in the Division II Bulletin’s Preseason Poll.
 
Carson-Newman earned the No. 3 position in the poll with 84 points. The Eagles, who finished last season with a record of 23-8 overall and 14-6 in SAC play, made their third NCAA postseason appearance in the last five years in 2017-18.
 
At No. 4 in the poll was Wingate who picked up 76 points from the head coaches.  The Bulldogs went 15-15 overall and were 11-9 in the SAC last season.  Lenoir-Rhyne followed as it received 75 points, landing in the No. 5 position.  The Bears closed out their 2017-18 season at 11-16 overall and 9-11 in the SAC.
 
Newberry came in at No. 7 with 58 points.  The Wolves posted a 15-14 overall record and were 9-11 in conference. Anderson landed at No. 8 in the preseason poll as it collected 44 points from the head coaches.  Last season, the Trojans went 10-19 overall and 8-12 in SAC play.
 
Coker came in at No. 9 with 39 points, followed by Tusculum with 34 points. Mars Hill rounded out the poll as it notched 22 points.
 
The 2018-19 Men’s Basketball season gets underway on Nov. 3-4 when Queens travels to St. Joseph, Mo. for the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame Classic. The rest of the SAC teams will tip-off their seasons on Friday, Nov. 9. Catawba plays host to Francis Marion on the 9th at 6 pm. The Indians lost a tight exhibition game with Wichita State, 75-64, on Oct. 30.
 
2018-19 SAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll
1.   Lincoln Memorial (7), 107
2.   Queens (4), 104
3.   Carson-Newman, 84
4.   Wingate, 76
5.   Lenoir-Rhyne, 75
6.   CATAWBA, 70
7.   Newberry, 58
8.   Anderson, 44
9.   Coker, 39
10.   Tusculum, 34
11.   Mars Hill, 22

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