LaGrange is part of a three-way tie for second in the USA South West Division preseason coach's poll as released by the conference office. The Panthers were 17-9 last season, finishing third in the division with a 13-5 conference record.
Head coach Kendal Wallace begins his ninth season leading the Panthers. Wallace has a 127-92 record with the Panthers, leading them to four NCAA tournament appearances and three USA South Tournament titles.
LC has 11 players returning and 15 newcomers. Junior guard Julian Cameron is the team's leading returning scorer. Cameron averaged 12.4 points per game, starting 25 of 26 games. He led the team with 61 3-pointers. Junior forward Lincoln Anderson averaged 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds last season.
LC is tied with Berea and Maryville in the poll. Defending division champion Covenant topped the poll, receiving six of the seven first place votes. Maryville is the defending conference tournament champion.
The 2019 USA South Men's Basketball Tournament will once again be conducted exclusively on campus sites. The top-four seeded teams from each division will advance to the tournament.
LC opens the 2019-20 season Nov. 16 against Sewanee at the Black Tie Classic hosted by Birmingham-Southern College. Sewanee won the Southern Athletic Association tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament. The Panthers host their own Wingate by Wyndham Classic on Nov. 22-23, facing East Texas Baptist and Bob Jones.
The Panthers will face one of their toughest December schedules. They start by hosting Emory, who advanced to the Division III tournament. The Panthers open USA South play with three straight road games against Maryville, Greensboro, and Methodist (East Division preseason favorite). The month ends at the Emory Shootout on Dec. 29-30. In the tournament, LC takes on defending Division III national champion Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Guilford, who lost to Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the national quarterfinals.