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September 23, 2023 10:56 pm

UMO ranks seventh in preseason poll

GREENVILLE, S.C. – The University of Mount Olive men’s basketball team was picked seventh in the preseason Conference Carolinas poll, which was released by the league office on Tuesday morning.

The Trojans finished 16-13 overall last season with a 14-9 mark in conference play while reaching the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. UMO will feature a new head coach at the helm for the first time in 14 seasons after Joey Higginbotham was announced as the new athletic director at Mount Olive in early April.

A former standout for the Trojans, Dory Hines was announced as the head coach in late April following a two-year stint at rival UNC Pembroke as an assistant coach. A four-year team captain, Hines is the all-time assists leader for the program while ranking third in career rebounds. He featured a decorated career with one of the only triple-double performances for UMO and was named the NCAA statistical champion for assist-to-turnover ratio.

UNC Pembroke was tabbed as the preseason favorite in the conference after receiving 11 of 13 first-place votes in the poll. The Braves captured the regular season title in their return to the league after posting a 27-4 record behind a 22-2 mark in conference play. Emmanuel earned the second slot in the rankings and collected the final two first-place votes. The Lions finished 19-9 last year and reached the semifinals of the league tournament. Barton ranked third in the poll, while Francis Marion and Lees-McRae rounded out the top five in the rankings.

The Conference Carolinas quarterfinals are set for Friday, March 3 at Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium, while the semifinals and championship will be played on March 4 and 5.

The Trojans open the year with the 57th annual Mount Olive Pickle Classic on Nov. 11-12. The Trojans will face national runner-up Augusta and Columbus State over the two-day event. To purchase tickets CLICK HERE.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics