DALTON, GA (dsroadrunners.com) -- As the Dalton State basketball Roadrunners tipped off Tuesday in their annual Blue and White scrimmage game, word came that the defending NAIA National Champions have even more of a target on their backs.
With 12 new players competing in the scrimmage, rebuilding is on the mind of Roadrunner Coach Tony Ingle. As he prepared to present rings to the national champions who could return for the honor, word came that the NAIA Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll has the Dalton State at Number One.
The Roadrunners received nine of the possible ten first place votes. Dalton State went 32-4 in 2014-2015 and won the championship in their first year of eligibility, but only one starter returns.
Jordan Bowling and newcomer Jalen Robinson each scored 14 points for the white in the scrimmage. Robinson will not be eligible until January. Returning letterman Jamaine Burray added 11. The Blue team was led by Rudy Winters with 13 and Marcel Hawkins with 10.
Dalton State plays in the Lou Cunningham Classic Friday and Saturday in the J.K. Powell Athletic Center, 203 Tiger Way, Campbellsville, KY. They play always tough Lindsey-Wilson Friday night at 6. They then play No. 18 Campbellsville at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Campbellsville finished last season 29-6 and ranked No. 8.
The Southern States Athletic Conference is well represented in the preseason poll. Martin Methodist was No. 7 with a 30-5 record in the spring. They are now No. 11. William Carey is tied for 14th with LSU Shreveport. Faulkner received votes.