HIGH POINT, N.C. – Coming off a historic 2017-18 season, the Lees-McRae College men's basketball team was picked to finish fifth in the Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches' Poll the league office announced Wednesday afternoon. Senior Malik Wright along with sophomores Quay Kimble and Dylan Gollihar were selected as players to watch for Lees-McRae this season.
Defending regular season champion King took the top spot in Wednesday's poll collecting five of the 10 first-place votes and 83 points. Barton also had 83 points but collected just three first-place nods. Mount Olive picked up the last two first-place votes and came in third with 80 points.
Next up in Wednesday's poll was Emmanuel with 63 points. LMC checked in at the number five spot with Belmont Abbey a spot behind with 51 points. Closing out the bottom four of the conference were Limestone (45 points), North Greenville (34 points), Erskine (25 points) and Southern Wesleyan (20 points).
Wright comes into his second season in a Bobcat uniform as the club's lone senior on the active roster. Last season, Wright played in 31 of the team's 32 games averaging 10.7 minutes, 3.3 points and 1.9 rebounds per game.
Kimble made an instant impact for the Bobcats in 2017-18 on his way to capturing Freshman of the Year honors in Conference Carolinas. Kimble averaged 10.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists as a freshman. Additionally, Kimble led the team with 97 assists and finished second on the squad with 43 steals last season.
In his first season in Banner Elk, Gollihar shot a team-best 54.2 percent from beyond the arc. The Richardson, Texas native averaged over a block a game for LMC in 2017-18 finishing the season with 26 blocks in 21 games. His 26 blocks were the 10th-most by a Bobcat in a single season in program history.
The Bobcats will lift the lid on their 2018-19 season on November 6 when they take on Division I foe Middle Tennessee State in an exhibition contest. LMC will open its regular season slate November 9-10 when they take on Columbus State and Flagler in a pair of neutral site games in Bristol, Tennessee.