BRISTOL, Tenn. – In their first season competing in Conference Carolinas, Head Coach George Pitts and his team took the league by storm, finishing 14-2 in the league and taking away a regular season championship as the start of the accolades received in 2011-12. Eight months from the time the team last took the court, King will propel itself back into the thick of the season with a mission to surpass their successes of last year. The NCAA Tournament qualifying Tornado team will hit the court for the first time in an exhibition contest against stateline rival Virginia Intermont on Oct. 30 in preparation for the first of 26 regular season contests at Virginia Union University on Nov. 10.
King will get its first piece of competitive action on Oct. 30 against the Virginia Intermont Cobras in an exhibition game. The rematch from last year's duel will be played in the Cobra Den (Bristol, Va.) with a 7 p.m. tipoff scheduled.
After an additional pair of exhibition contests against Emory & Henry and UVA-Wise, the Tornado will debut against Virginia Union University on Nov. 10 in the first of three nonconference games that make up their opening four games.
The Tornado will break in the Student Center Complex with its regular season, home opener with regional rival Tusculum on Nov. 14. The Pioneers and Tornado will tipoff at 7:30 p.m.
After the turn of the new year, King will open 2013 half of the schedule with the defending Conference Carolinas Tournament Champions, the Barton Bulldogs. The Tornado will play Barton in Wilson, N.C. on Jan. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in round one of the battle between the top two teams in the league last year.
Later in the month, King and Lees-McRae will continue their battle for the Blue Ridge Cup with the first of two meetings between the rivals. The Bobcats and Tornado will play the first of two games at the Student Center Complex on Jan. 21 with the final matchup on Feb. 13 in Banner Elk, N.C.
To kick off the final week of February, King will attempt to avenge their second round conference tournament defeat against Mount Olive with a Feb. 16 rematch at home with the Trojans. Three of the final four games of the regular season will be played inside the Student Center. Coker will help close out the month of February on Feb. 23 before the team celebrates Senior Night on March 1 against North Greenville University.
The Tornado, who finished 2011-12 with a 23-8 overall record, will be led by senior guard Eddie Piccinini (Orlando, Fla.) who finished the season as the team's leading scorer with 494 points, averaging 16.5 per game. He scored a career high 32 points against Lincoln Memorial in the NCAA Southeast Regional game last March when he shot 9-of-14 from the field and 6-of-8 from beyond the arc. Also returning is reigning Freshman of the Year, Logan Lyle (Unicoi, Tenn.) who posted a team high 88 three-pointers landed on 219 attempts (.402).
King is joined by a class of six incoming freshmen and eagerly anticipates the return of forward Jason Seymore (Powell, Tenn.). Three of the six freshmen played in the annual BCAT East-West All-Star game, including James Scales (Rogersville, Tenn./Cherokee H.S.), Drew Standifer (Knoxville, Tenn./Bearden H.S.), and Aaron Wheeler (Morristown, Tenn./Morristown East H.S.).
In addition to their first NCAA Tournament appearance, as well as the program's first in school history, the Tornado were ranked in the NABC Top-25. The team posted two All-Conference selections, one All-Region honoree, two Academic All-Conference Team members, and the Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year in Head Coach George Pitts.