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Gilyard named to preseason All-SAC second team

Gilyard named to preseason All-SAC second team

ROCK HILL, S.C. ( – The Railsplitters of Lincoln Memorial have been picked to win the 2018-2019 South Atlantic Conference Men's Basketball Championship as voted by the League's head coaches. The Railsplitters picked up seven first place votes and received 107 total points in the poll.

LMU went 32-2 and was a perfect 20-0 in South Atlantic Conference play last season, notching the program's fourth consecutive 30-win season and sixth straight SAC regular-season title. For the third time in four seasons, the Railsplitters finished the year ranked No. 1 in the national poll and hosted the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional at Tex Turner Arena. 

They are a preseason No. 4 pick nationally in both the Division II Bulletin and Street & Smith, while the NABC Coaches' Poll has the Railsplitters ranked at No. 3.

Earning the No. 2 spot in the preseason poll was Queens. The Royals earned four first place votes and 104 total points.

Queens is coming off its best season in program history. The 2017-2018 Royals went 32-4, compiling the program's best record, and won the Southeast Regional title to advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championship for the first time since 2003. Queens made its second all-time appearance in the national semifinals tying for the deepest postseason run in program history.

The Royals are ranked No. 11 nationally in the Division II Bulletin's Preseason Poll.

Carson-Newman earned the No. 3 position in the poll with 84 points. The Eagles, who finished last season with a record of 23-8 overall and 14-6 in SAC play, made their third NCAA postseason appearance in the last five years in 2017-18.

At No. 4 in the poll was Wingate who picked up 76 points from the head coaches.  The Bulldogs went 15-15 overall and were 11-9 in the SAC last season.  Lenoir-Rhyne followed as it received 75 points, landing in the No. 5 position.  The Bears closed out their 2017-18 season at 11-16 overall and 9-11 in the SAC.

Catawba earned the No. 6 spot with 70 points.  The Indians were 11-15 overall and 7-13 in the SAC a season ago. Newberry came in at No. 7 with 58 points.  The Wolves posted a 15-14 overall record and were 9-11 in conference. Anderson landed at No. 8 in the preseason poll as it collected 44 points from the head coaches.  Last season, the Trojans went 10-19 overall and 8-12 in SAC play.

Coker came in at No. 9 with 39 points, followed by Tusculum with 34 points. Mars Hill rounded out the poll as it notched 22 points.

The South Atlantic Conference also announced its preseason All-SAC teams. Headlining the first team is preseason All-American Cornelius Taylor from Lincoln Memorial. A second team All-SAC pick a year ago, Taylor averaged 14.5 points and 2.2 rebounds per game, with 3.9 assists per game.

Also earning first team honors were Lenoir-Rhyne's Djibril Diallo, Wingate's Marco Haskins, Anderson's Gage Ellis, Carson-Newman's Malik Abraham and Newberry's Marshall Lange.

Diallo, Haskins and Ellis were All-SAC honorable mention selections last season. Diallo averaged 15.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game, while Haskins averaged 14.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game and shot 81 percent from the charity stripe. Ellis finished the season averaging 14.9 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, while shooting 51 percent from the field.

Abraham posted 11.7 points, 22. Rebounds and 1.5 assists per game last season, with Lange scoring 12.6 points with 3.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.

Earning second-team honors were Queens' Shaun Willett and Daniel Carr, Anderson's Jeremy Bouton, Coker's Kahlil Halls, Lenoir-Rhyne's Cory Thomas and Mars Hill's Austin Gilyard.

The 2018-19 Men's Basketball season gets underway on Nov. 3-4 when Queens travels to St. Joseph, Mo. for the Small College Basketball Hall of Fame Classic. The rest of the SAC teams will tip-off their seasons on Friday, Nov. 9.


2018-19 SAC Men's Basketball Preseason Poll



Team (First Place Votes)




Lincoln Memorial (7)




Queens (4)




































Mars Hill



2018-19 SAC Men's Basketball Preseason All-Conference

First Team

Cornelius Taylor, Lincoln Memorial
Djibril Diallo, Lenoir-Rhyne
Marco Haskins, Wingate
Gage Ellis, Anderson
Malik Abraham, Carson-Newman
Marshall Lange, Newberry

Second Team

Jeremy Bouton, Anderson
Khalil Halls, Coker
Shaun Willett, Queens
Cory Thomas, Lenoir-Rhyne
Daniel Carr, Queens
Austin Gilyard, Mars Hill

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