HARROGATE, Tenn. - The Lincoln Memorial University men's hoops team is ranked No. 3 in the Division II Bulletin preseason national rankings, while senior shooting guard Luquon Choice (Laurens, S.C.) has been tabbed as a preseason All-American, it was announced with the release of the first Division II Bulletin monthly newsletter of the 2016-17 campaign. In addition to that, the Railsplitters were selected to win their fifth consecutive South Atlantic Conference title and Choice was the tabbed as the preseason favorite to claim SAC Player of the Year accolades.
The Railsplitters are coming off the most successful season in the history of the program and the South Atlantic Conference, as they won a program- and SAC-record 34 games while advancing to the NCAA Division II National Championship game in Frisco, Texas. Lincoln Memorial was the first men's basketball team in the history of the conference to play in the National Championship. In addition to that, the Railsplitters were the first team in the 25-year history of the SAC on either the men's or women's side to run the table in conference play, going a perfect 22-0. The Railsplitters won their fourth consecutive SAC regular season title and claimed their third SAC tournament championship by beating Wingate 95-83 on March 6 in Greenville, S.C. That was just the beginning of a lengthy and memorable postseason run, as Lincoln Memorial beat Lander, Queens and Lenoir-Rhyne to claim the program's first-ever NCAA Division II Southeast Region championship. The Railsplitters then defeated Barry and West Liberty to move on to the National Championship game, where they suffered a 90-81 loss to Augustana, which snapped a SAC-record 24-game winning streak. Entering the 2016-17 season, the Railsplitters are a combined 170-24 over the past six seasons. Lincoln Memorial has compiled six straight 25-win campaigns, including back-to-back 30 win seasons. Over the past three seasons, the Railsplitters are a ridiculous 63-3 in SAC play. The Railsplitters graduated three of their top-five scorers off of last season's squad, but do return three starters in Choice, Dorian Pinson (Greenville, S.C.) and Emmanuel Terry (Enterprise, Ala.). Choice -- a two-time All-SAC and All-Southeast Region first team pick -- will lead the charge for the Railsplitters. The Laurens, S.C. native poured in 16.7 points per game on 48 percent shooting last season, marked by a 47.5 percent clip from three-point range. He also chipped in 4.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Choice canned 125 three-pointers, which is the second-most in program and SAC history. Entering his final season in the Blue and Gray, Choice needs just 12 three-pointers to surpass all-time leading scorer Nick Sanford for the program record for career threes. Pinson -- a junior point-forward from Greenville, S.C. -- put up 10.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game last season while shooting 58 percent from the field, while Terry accounted for 7.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game while shooting at an absurd 71.7 percent clip. Terry was named to the Southeast Region Championship All-Tournament team after helping power the Railsplitters to the Elite Eight. In addition to that trio, the Railsplitters' rotation will be bolstered by the addition of South Florida transfer Chris Perry (pictured) of Bartow, Fla., and guards Trevon Shaw (St. Helena Island, S.C.) and Cornelius Taylor (Claxton, Ga.), who both redshirted last season. Perry, who averaged 10.1 points and 6.6 rebounds during his junior season with the Bulls, was the 96th ranked player in ESPN's top 100 coming out of Bartow High School. Shaw averaged 15.8 points per game on 48 percent shooting during the 2014-15 season at Brevard, while Taylor poured in 28.6 points per game as a senior at Claxton High School. To read the Division II Bulletin 2016-17 preseason preview in its entirety, click here. The Railsplitters commence the 2016-17 season against King on November 11 in the first game of the SAC vs. Conference Carolinas Challenge in Greenville, Tenn. LMU will also host preseason No. 1 Bellarmine in a New Year's Eve showdown on Saturday, Dec. 31.
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