SmallCollegeHoops.com and their publication of DIII News have ranked the Maryville College men's basketball team No. 23 in their top-25 preseason poll for the upcoming 2017-18 season.
"The preseason ranking is nice. We've asked our team to put it all in perspective. Right now, we are concentrating on the process, and the process involves learning our system and getting better in each day of practice. We're much concerned with the journey, rather than the destination. The national ranking at the end of the year is what counts. We're just taking each practice, and hopefully every game, in a step-by-step process."
The Scots are coming off their second USA South regular season title (2013-14, 2016-17) following a 20-7 overall campaign while going 9-5 in league challenges.
Maryville returns a talented selection of upperclassmen including lone senior guard Blake Bowman. A fruitful junior class includes Emier Bowman (5.9 ppg/3.9 rpg), Emanuelle Garcia (7.8 ppg.), Dante Hoppa (9.7 ppg/4.9 rpg.), Colt Nokes (11.6 ppg. /6.7 rpg), Calvin Songster (13.9 ppg/44% 3-point shooter), and Chris Watson (4.2 ppg./3.1 rpg). Songster, a native of Johnson City, Tennessee, earned second-team All-USA South honors last season as a shooting guard. Nokes, a center from Gordonsville, Tennessee was named to the league's post-season squad as an honorable mention.
MC's defense last season allowed only 72 points per game while holding opponents to a 43% shooting effort from the floor.
The Scots began their quest for another league crown on Sunday, October 15th with aspirations of their program's 19th trip to the NCAA post-season. Maryville last went to the dance following the 2011-2012 season.
Head Coach Randy Lambert is beginning his 38th season directing the historically successful program. With 679 career victories, Lambert is one of the most successful NCAA Division III coaches. He is currently ranked 4th in the country among active head coaches and 10th among all-time coaches for most victories. His career record with the Scots is 679-310 for a winning percentage of .687.
Maryville's season opener will be Wednesday, November 15th in Danville, Kentucky as they challenge Centre College. The Scots' first home game in the Boydson Baird Gymnasium will be Tuesday, November 21st when MC hosts Sewanee.