Mount Olive men tabbed 4th in preseason Conference Carolinas poll
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 16, 2013 1:48 PM
HIGH POINT -- Coaches don't put much stock in preseason polls.
But you can bet it's posted in an obvious place that serves as a constant reminder of how others perceive you.
Mount Olive College has been picked to finish fourth in the 2013-14 Conference Carolinas men's basketball coaches poll. The Trojans received 43 points and finished five points behind archrival Barton, which garnered one first-place nod among the league's nine head coaches.
"I have never really had any interest for preseason polls," MOC head coach Joey Higginbotham said. "I expect our league to be as competitive this year as it has been in a while. There are a lot of returning players who played major roles for their teams last season."
Third-year member King (Tenn.) University drew the bullseye after earning four first-place votes and collecting 59 points. The Tornado return three seniors and one of the league's top 3-point shooters, junior Logan Lyle, from a year ago.
Limestone, which shared the regular-season title with Barton last season, is tabbed second with 51 points. Senior PJ Foster returns after helping lead the Saints to a 21-win campaign and an appearance in the 2013 NCAA Division II Southeast Regional.
Barton lost All-American guard Gerald Boston to graduation, but has seven letter-winners who saw considerable playing time last season. The Bulldogs are coming off a 23-win season and trip to the Southeast Regional.
MOC returns eight players, including seniors Ewon Wright and Dory Hines. Wright shot a team-leading 87.5 percent from the free throw line, while Hines averaged 8.8 points and 29.7 minutes a game last season.
"I'm excited about the potential of this year's team," Higginbotham said. "Our goal is to work hard and get better each day."
Erskine (S.C.) is tabbed fifth, followed by 2013 Conference Carolinas tournament champion Belmont Abbey and North Greenville (S.C.) University. In-state members Pfeiffer U and Lees-McRae are picked eighth and ninth, respectively.
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