BRISTOL, Tenn. – Last year, the King University men’s basketball team won their second Conference Carolinas regular season championship, and their first Conference Carolinas Tournament championship, and the Tornado are picked to repeat in 2016-17. The Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches’ Poll was announced today and the Tornado sit atop the poll with eight first place votes among the league’s coaches.
The Tornado return four of their top five scorers and welcome nine newcomers for the upcoming season. A season ago, the Tornado went 25-7, including a 17-3 mark in Conference Carolinas play. As the top seed in the Conference Carolinas Tournament the Tornado won all three games at home, taking home their first Conference Carolinas Tournament title and second NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Tournament appearance.
Head Coach George Pitts was selected Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year a season ago, and his 2016-17 squad should be led by a quartet of seniors, C.J. Good, Hunter LeVeau, Malcolm St. Louis and Derick Pope. Good and LeVeau were both selected first team all-conference last year and have been one of the top three-point shooting tandems in the league over the past three years. A season ago, Good led the league with 127 triples, shooting 41.6 percent from three while LeVeau connected on 94 trifectas, ranking him third in the league. Pope is King’s third leading returning scorer, behind Good and LeVeau, averaging 8.4 points per game. St. Louis will return to the lineup this year after taking a redshirt year a season ago.
Following the Tornado tournament runner-up Barton College was selected to finish second and Limestone College was picked third. Each team received one first place vote.
The Tornado open the 2016-17 campaign at Tusculum College on November 11-12. King first faces 2015-16 national runner-up Lincoln Memorial University at 6:00 p.m. on Friday night before taking on host Tusculum on Saturday at 5:00 p.m.