HIGH POINT, N.C. – The 2012-13 Conference Carolinas Men's Basketball Preseason Coaches Poll was released on Monday morning. The defending regular season champion King Tornado was tabbed to finish the season second overall, per the poll.
The Tornado received 84 total points, just four behind the preseason favorite Barton Bulldogs. King earned three first-place votes in the poll, second only to Barton (4). Mount Olive was the third and final team to receive first place votes, taking two.
Queens (79) and Belmont Abbey (66) round out the top-5 in the preseason poll, respectively, while Coker and Limestone finished in a tie for sixth with 52 points.
Last season the Tornado surprised Conference Carolinas after being picked fifth in the preseason poll but ended up having one of the best seasons in school history by posting an overall record of 23-8, winning the regular season conference title with a record of 14-2, and advancing to the program's first NCAA Tournament during its first year of postseason eligibility.
Reigning Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year George Pitts has three of his top four leading scorers returning this season, Eddie Piccinini, Logan Lyle, and Michael Fortune. Piccinini scored a team-high 16.5 points per game and was named to the All-Conference Second Team last season. Lyle was named Freshman of the Year and averaged 13.5 ppg while making 88 three-pointers for the season. Fortune played a dual role both as a starter and adding depth on the bench with 12.6 ppg. The trio was a large part of a team that finished No. 1 in the country in three-point makes per game.
Last year's tournament champions, Barton, were named the preseason favorite to repeat last year's run to the NCAA Division II Tournament. The Bulldogs finished 2011-12 with a 20-10 overall record and 9-7 Conference Carolinas mark.
King will open its season on Nov. 10 with their first regular season game at Virginia Union (Richmond, Va.). Their first home game will be Nov. 14 against regional rival Tusculum College. Fans can see the Tornado in action for the first time against stateline rival Virginia Intermont College on Oct. 30 at the Cobra's Den in an exhibition contest to begin at 7 p.m.
Conference Carolinas is a NCAA Division II athletic conference currently made up of 12 teams from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. These institutions consist of: Barton College, Belmont Abbey College, Coker College, Converse College, Erskine College, King College, Lees-McRae College, Limestone College, Mount Olive College, North Greenville University, Pfeiffer University, and Queens University of Charlotte.
|No.||Team||Pts. (1st place)|
|3||Mount Olive||81 (2)|