ROCK HILL, S.C. – The Brevard College men's basketball team has been picked to finish 9th in the South Atlantic Conference in 2012-13, it was announced by the league office on Wednesday.
Wingate has been picked by the league’s coaches as the preseason favorite to win the conference title. The Bulldogs are coming off a 2011-12 season in which they went 21-12 overall and finished third in the regular season SAC standings at 13-5. WU got hot late, winning the SAC Tournament championship and advancing to the regional semifinals of the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship.
Wingate received five first-place votes in the poll.
Just behind Wingate in the preseason poll was Lincoln Memorial, which garnered two first-place votes. The Railsplitters went 26-6 overall last season, and their 14-4 SAC record was the league’s second-best.
LMU earned an at-large bid to the 2012 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship, advancing to the regional semifinals before falling to eventual regional champion Montevallo. Among the team’s returnees is forward Vincent Bailey, who was a second-team All-SAC selection last season after averaging 10.7 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
Newberry is third in the preseason poll and received one first-place vote. The Wolves rode a young team to a fourth-place finish in the SAC standings and a trip to the SAC Championship semifinals last season, going 16-12 overall.
Reigning SAC Freshman of the Year Dondray Walker is back for Newberry after averaging 16.4 points per game in 2011-12.
No. 4 in the preseason poll is Carson-Newman, which returns 2011-12 All-SAC Second Team picks Ishmael Sanders and Antoine Davis. The Eagles are followed by defending SAC regular-season champion Anderson at No. 5.
AU, which went 17-1 in the SAC and finished one win shy of a second-straight trip to the NCAA Elite Eight last season, will once again be led by guard Denzail Jones, the 2011-12 SAC Player of the Year.
Carson-Newman and Anderson each received one first-place vote in the poll.
Lenoir-Rhyne is No. 6 in the poll, followed by No. 7 Tusculum, No. 8 Catawba, No. 9 Brevard and No. 10 Mars Hill.
2012-13 SAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
2. Lincoln Memorial 73 (2)
3. Newberry 62 (1)
4. Carson-Newman 57 (1)
5. Anderson 54 (1)
6. Lenoir-Rhyne 43
10. Mars Hill 12