HARROGATE, TN – The Lincoln Memorial University men’s basketball team continued its climb up the NCAA Division II ladder this week by earning a no. 14 ranking in the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) poll.
Still among the ranks of the unbeaten, the Railsplitters are now 10-0 and continue to add to the program’s best start in school history. Monday night’s 100-62 thrashing of regional opponent Lees-McRae College (3-6) was the Railsplitter’s first outing of the new year and sets the stage for Wednesday evening’s conference road battle with cross-state rival Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee. The Pioneers (4-8 overall, 1-1 SAC) will be looking to move above the .500 mark in the South Atlantic Conference while the Railsplitters will be tying to remain unblemished.
“I know it is very exciting for our great fans and the alumni of Lincoln Memorial University to see us continue to move up the national poll,” says LMU Head Coach Josh Schertz. “All year as a team we have talked about having tunnel vision and blocking out all external distractions. The national recognition we are recieving is a byproduct of our ability to stay focused on the process of winning everyday. We are excited about the challenges ahead and working towards becoming the absolute best basketball team we can be.”
According to available records, Tuesday’s national ranking is believed to be the highest an LMU men’s basketball team has been ranked since the mid 70’s when former Head Coach Jack Jackson’s Railsplitters won the District 24 Tournament and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri before falling in the semifinals to finish fourth nationally.
While the Railsplitters are still in the company of six unbeaten teams in this week’s poll, their schedule has them running a gauntlet of competition this week as well. Monday’s meeting with Lees-McRae, Wednesday’s conference road bout with Tusculum and this Saturday’s league road battle with Newberry College leave the LMU men playing three games in five days and will no doubt be an monumental test of endurance and mental attitude for Josh Schertz Railsplitters.
Wednesday’s action with the Pioneers gets underway at 8:00 p.m. in Greeneville while Saturday’s first meeting of the season with the Wolves of Newberry College tips-off at 4:00 p.m.