South Atlantic Conference Men's Basketball

Lincoln Memorial Picked As SAC Men's Basketball Preseason Favorite

Lincoln Memorial Picked As SAC Men's Basketball Preseason Favorite

Lincoln Memorial University has been picked to win the 2022-2023 SAC Men’s Basketball Championship, as voted by the League’s head coaches.

Nov 2, 2022 by FloHoops Staff
Lincoln Memorial Picked As SAC Men's Basketball Preseason Favorite

The Railsplitters of Lincoln Memorial University have been picked to win the 2022-2023 South Atlantic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship, as voted by the League’s head coaches. 

The Railsplitters picked up 11 first-place votes and received 143 total points in the poll.

Lincoln Memorial finished the 2021-2022 season with a 26-5 record, including earning a bid NCAA Southeast Regional and claiming a share of the SAC Men’s Basketball regular-season title. 

The Railsplitters closed last season as the No. 12 team nationally, according to the National Association of Basketball Coaches. 

A trio of returning All-SAC performers will lead the way for the Splitters - seniors Chase Rankin and Jordan Guest and junior Mekell Burries.

Wingate University earned the No. 2 position in the poll with a first-place vote and 121 total points. The Bulldogs went 19-8 a year ago and will be led by four preseason All-SAC selections - Jarren Cottingham, Donell Nixon II, Sean Elmore and Andreas Wilson.

Earning the No. 3 spot in the preseason poll were Carson-Newman University and Tusculum University with 116 points each.

Carson-Newman is coming off a 20-11 season. The Eagles were 15-9 in the SAC. They are led by last year’s SAC Defensive Player of the Year Bryant Thomas and preseason All-SAC selection Luke Brenegan.

Tusculum went 19-8 overall, and the Pioneers were 19-5 in the SAC last season. They are led by preseason All-SAC pick Inady Legiste.

At No. 5 in the poll was Newberry College, which picked up 105 points from the head coaches. The Wolves went 15-13 overall and 14-10 in the SAC a year ago.

Lenoir-Rhyne University followed, receiving 84 points and landing in the No. 6 position. The Bears went 10-18 overall last season.

Catawba College earned the No. 7 spot with 82 points. The Catawba Indians went 11-16 overall a season ago.

Anderson University and Limestone University came in at a tie for No. 8 with 65 points each. Anderson earned one first-place vote.

Coker University and Mars Hill University tied the No. 10 spot with 35 points each. The Anderson was 11-17 overall last season, and the Limestone went 10-17 overall in 2020-2021. Coker was 5-22 last season and Mars Hill was 6-21.

Rounding out the poll were UVA Wise and Emory & Henry at No. 12 and No. 13, respectively. Wise had 24 points and Emory & Henry had 23 points.

The SAC also announced its preseason All-SAC teams. 

Earning first-team honors were Wingate’s Cottingham, along with Lincoln Memorial’s Rankin, Guest, and Burries. Also earning first-team honors were Lenoir-Rhyne’s TJ Nesmith and Limestone’s Ben Gahlert.

The second team was comprised of the following players: Newberry’s TJ Brown and Quandaveon McCollum, Carson-Newman’s Brenegan and Thomas, Mars Hill’s Kadyn Dawkins and Wingate’s Nixon.

Earning third-team honors were the following players: Wingate’s Elmore and Wilson, Tusculum’s Legiste, Catawba’s Kris Robinson, Emory & Henry’s Gabe Brown and UVA Wise’s Joel Pettiford.

The 2022-2023 men’s basketball season gets underway with Lincoln Memorial traveling to Florida for the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame Classic on Nov. 5-6. 

The rest of the league will begin nonconference games Nov. 11, with a full slate of league action starting on Dec. 3.

All of the SAC men’s basketball games will be streamed live on FloHoops. 

Links to live video and live stats of all the games, as well as a full schedule of games can be found by visiting the men’s basketball page on

2022-23 SAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll

Rank School (First Place Votes), Score

1. Lincoln Memorial (11), 143
2. Wingate (1), 121
T-3. Carson-Newman, 116
T-3. Tusculum, 116
5. Newberry, 105
6. Lenoir-Rhyne, 84
7. Catawba, 82
T-8. Anderson, 65
T-8. Limestone, 65
T-10. Coker, 35
T-10. Mars Hill, 35
12. UVA Wise, 24
13. Emory & Henry, 23

2022-23 SAC Men’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference

First Team

Jarren Cottingham, Wingate
Chase Rankin, Lincoln Memorial
Jordan Guest, Lincoln Memorial
Mekell Burries, Lincoln Memorial
Ben Gahlert, Limestone
TJ Nesmith, Lenoir-Rhyne

Second Team

TJ Brown, Newberry
Luke Brenegan, Carson-Newman
Kadyn Dawkins, Mars Hill
Donell Nixon II, Wingate
Quandaveon McCollum, Newberry
Bryant Thomas, Carson-Newman

Third Team

Sean Elmore, Wingate
Inady Legiste, Tusculum
Kris Robinson, Catawba
Andreas Wilson, Wingate
Gabe Brown, Emory & Henry
Joel Pettiford, UVA Wise