KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Railsplitters are ranked fifth in the NABC/Division II men's basketball preseason coaches poll, it was announced Tuesday, Oct. 27 by officials with the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Lincoln Memorial finished the 2014-15 campaign ranked sixth in the nation, as the Railsplitters broke the South Atlantic Conference single-season record for wins and winning percentage by going 30-3. That reset Lincoln Memorial's program record for winning percentage and matched the 1976-77 team as the only other 30-game winner in the program's 100-year history. In route to their third straight SAC regular season title, a first-time occurrence in league history, the Railsplitters opened the season by winning 20 consecutive games, eventually breaking in at No. 1 in the NABC poll for the second time in program history on February 3.
The Railsplitters, who were selected to win their fourth consecutive SAC title in the league's preseason coaches poll, went on the host the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional at Tex Turner Arena, where they advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the fourth straight season.
Headlined by preseason All-SAC selections Luquon Choice (Laurens, S.C.) and Gerel Simmons (Accokeek, Md.), the Railsplitters return eight of their top-10 scorers from last season's record-breaking squad. Choice led LMU in scoring with 14.9 points per game while Simmons (pictured) contributed 10.5 points a night off the bench, as that duo combined to make 151 three-pointers. Curtis McMillion (Fayetteville, N.C.), Tim Pierce (Albany, Ga.), Dorian Pinson (Greenville, S.C.) and Curtis Webb (Spartanburg, S.C.) each factored in more than five points per game.
The Railsplitters were one of four teams representing the Southeast Region to be ranked inside the top 25 of the preseason poll, as 2015 NCAA Southeast Regional champion Mount Olive is sixth, UNC Pembroke is 13th and Montevallo is 20th. Both Carson-Newman and Queens are slotted in the receiving votes section of the poll, as the Eagles collected 11 points and the Royals had two points.
Lincoln Memorial opens the season against the King Tornado in Bristol, Tenn. on November 13 in the Conference Carolinas/South Atlantic Conference Challenge. The Railsplitters make their Tex Turner Arena debut on November 19 against Hiwassee, after which Carson-Newman rolls into town for the SAC opener on November 24.
NABC/Division II Rankings (Oct. 27, 2015 - Preseason Poll)
1. Augustana, S.D. (9) 2. Tarleton State, Texas (2) 3. West Liberty, W.Va. (2) 4. Bellarmine, Ky. (1) 5. Lincoln Memorial, Tenn. 6. Mount Olive, N.C. 7. Indiana, Pa. (1) 8. Indianapolis, Ind. 9. Minnesota State-Moorhead 10. Colorado School of Mines 11. California Baptist 12. Alabama-Huntsville 13. UNC Pembroke 14. Northwest Missouri State 15. Western Washington 16. Drury, Mo. 17. Chico State, Calif. 18. Metropolitan State, Colo. 19. Southern Connecticut State 20. Montevallo, Ala. 21. Western Oregon 22. Midwestern State, Texas 23. Augusta, Ga. 24. Barry, Fla. 25. Philadelphia, Pa.
Others receiving votes: Missouri Southern 57, Delta State (Miss.) 39, Florida Southern 36, Bowie State (Md.) 33, Fairmont State (W.Va.) 25, Alderson-Broaddus (W.Va.) 24, Bridgeport (Conn.) 23, St. Cloud State (Minn.) 18, Seattle Pacific (Wash.) 18, BYU-Hawaii 17, Lake Superior State (Mich.) 15, Lynn (Fla.) 13, Minnesota State 13, Cal Poly Pomona 11, Carson-Newman (Tenn.) 11, Angelo State (Texas) 10, Mercyhurst (Pa.) 10, Arkansas-Fort Smith 9, Cal State-San Bernardino 9, Bentley (Mass.) 8, Ferris State (Mich.) 8, Dixie State (Utah) 6, Nebraska-Kearney 6, Kentucky Wesleyan 5, Harding (Ark.) 4, King (Tenn.) 4, Michigan Tech 4, Stonehill (Mass.) 4, Texas A&M-Commerce 4, Benedict (S.C.) 3, East Central (Okla.) 3, Gannon (Pa.) 3, Paine (Ga.) 3, Concordia-St. Paul (Minn.) 2, Queens (N.C.) 2, Southern New Hampshire 2, Arkansas Tech 1, Central Missouri 1, Ouachita Baptist (Ark.) 1, West Texas A&M 1.
LMU Athletics Photo