December 14, 2012

Battle in Harrogate Pits Tornado Against No. 20 Railsplitters

 

 

King Tornado (RV)


(7-0, 3-0 Conference Carolinas)

vs.

No. 20 Lincoln Memorial Railsplitters

(6-1, 3-0 SAC)

Game 8  |  Dec. 14, 2012 |  4:00 p.m.Tex Turner Arena |  Harrogate, Tenn.



Live stats |  Live video  |  LMU audio  |  King notes


KING RECEIVES VOTES IN NABC POLL
For the second time in as many weeks, King Men's Basketball has received votes in the latest NABC Division II Coaches' Poll. The Tornado received 26 votes in the latest rankings, listing them as the first team outside the top-25 at No. 26.

A LOOK BACK - LAST YEAR v. LMU
In three meetings last season, Lincoln Memorial had King's number after winning each of those contests...but not by much. King lost those three games by a combined 15 points (5.0 ppg), including one two point loss at the Student Center. The other two losses were at neutral sites. Eddie Piccinini averaged 20.3 ppg against the Railsplitters, leading the team. He scored a career-high 32 points in King's first NCAA Tournament appearance last March in a 67-60 loss.

LAST TIME OUT - v. BLUEFIELD STATE
King overmatched a winless Bluefield State team out of the gate. Career highs were set by freshman center Drew Standifer (20 pts) and junior forward Brandon Crompton (11 pts) while the team nearly shot 50 percent from the floor. Standifer also had a pair of dunks to rile up the crowd in their 87-53 victory to improve their record to 7-0 overall.

PICCININI HITS 1,000 POINT MILESTONE
Among the madness in their 78-74 win over Queens (N.C.) on Dec. 1, missed was the major milestone hit by senior Eddie Piccinini. Heading into the contest, Piccinini had 990 career points and had exactly 10 points in the team's win. He hit the milestone with his last made bucket, a three-point basket, with 6:23 remaining in the game. He now has 1,011 points after registering 11 versus Bluefield State on Dec. 8.

KING RANKED AMONG NATION'S BEST
According to NCAA statistics released on Dec. 9, King is ranked fifth in the country in Division II in three-point field goals per game. They are averaging 10.7 per contest as a team and have totaled 75 in seven games. Last week, they were eighth in this category. Logan Lyle is ranked eighth (NCAA DII) in free throw percentage, hitting 95.2 percent. Last week, Lyle was ranked among the top-25 in 3-pt FG/g, but narrowly missed out by 0.03 this week.

PICCININI LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Senior (Gr.) guard Eddie Piccinini has led all scorers for King in three of their first seven games this season. He scored 23 in the Tornado's season opening 71-69 win over Virginia Union (Nov. 10)  while dishing out eight assists. He has also led the team in scoring in wins against Mars Hill (Nov. 20) and Mount Olive (Nov. 27), posting 26 and 15 points, respectively. He has also led the team in steals twice and steals four times.

PITTS CLOSING IN ON MILLENIUM MARK
George Pitts has been a household name for Northeast Tennessee basketball the mid-1960s. Over a colorful career that has spanned over 40 years, he is quickly approaching 1,000 career wins between the high school and collegiate ranks. After beginning his coaching career at his high school alma mater, Young High School (Knoxville, Tenn.) in 1970 and earning his first head coaching gig three years later, Pitts amassed an incredible 820-211 (.795) record and multiple state titles, he began his collegiate coaching career with King in 2006 and hit 100 wins in just his fifth year. Coming into the season, he had a combined 954 wins. Counting this season, he currently stands at 961 total wins, 39 shy of 1,000 in his coaching career. 

PREVIEWING THE No. 20 'SPLITTERS
Leading the way on the offensive side for LMU is center Jake Troyli, who is averaging 14.6 points per game. Not only is he hitting 51.4 percent of shots from the field, but he can be a dual threat, hitting 8-of-16 (.500) of his three-point attempts. Always strong on the board, LMU is led by reserve Vincent Bailey, who averages 8.0 rebounds per game while also putting up 12.3 ppg. Dustin Craig has been a force defensively on the low block, leading the team with 10 blocks through seven games. LMU possesses four players scoring in double digits with two more with between 9.0 and 9.9 ppg. The Railsplitters are outrebounding their opponents by over 10 rpg (41.0-30.9) and outscoring them by more than 20 (86.1-64.3) per contest.