Josh Schertz has been the head coach of the Lincoln Memorial University men’s basketball team since March of 2008 and since then his team has excelled on the floor, in the classroom and in the community.
Schertz may face his biggest challenge this year as he tries to overcome the loss of some key players due to graduation. He and his staff have been busy on the recruiting side of things this year as the program signed three quality freshmen. Tim Pierce is a 6’-3” guard from Albany, Georgia, and averaged 19-points a game while keeping up a 3.6 GPA. Curtis Webb is a 6’-3” guard from Spartanburg, South Carolina. Webb scored more than 1,100 points in his high school career and finished school with a 3.9 GPA. Paul Woodson is a 6’-7” forward from Cincinnati, Ohio. Woodson averaged 13.5 points per game, 13.9 rebounds per game and nearly two blocks per game at Aiken technical High School and Schertz likes everything he sees in this player. In addition, LMU fans will get to see redshirt Curtis McMillan take the floor this upcoming season.
“All four of these players make us really, really excited,” Schertz said. “It may be that we will look to redshirt a couple of our newest players but that’s not a bad thing. By doing this we are replacing 18-year olds with 23-year old players. You are a lot better player at 23 than you are as an 18-year old true freshman.”
The program will return over 70 percent of its scoring offense and will have 10-players return for the 2012-13 basketball season. All the players will be on campus in August and will be looking forward to the September boot camps.
Schertz then smiled and said, “Boot camps are two straight weeks of early morning condition sessions that begin at 5:30 a.m. If we get through that we will begin our first official day of practice on October 15th and that’s when we can do all of our work.”
Last season LMU fans were treated to Midnight Madness and when asked if there is one in the planning stages for this season Schertz commented, “We really would like to do another one this year but we are waiting on a rules interpretation about scheduling dates before releasing that information. If we are unable to host madness we will have a blue versus white game and a meet and greet. Its always good for us to find a way to be seen by our fans.”
The first game is only a little over four months away on November 10 and the Railsplitters will enter the new season with a new motto, “never again”. The saying goes back to unfinished business in both the South Atlantic Conference tournament and the NCAA Division 2 tournament. The Railsplitters held double-figure leads in the last minutes of both of those games and took heartbreaking losses in both. Montevallo defeated LMU by one point in the NCAA tournament and advanced to the title game. Schertz made it a point to use the saying, “never again” with the hopes of giving his team some motivation when they need it.
“The signs and shirts will be seen all over campus and will serve as a reminder to the unfinished games of last season so that they will never forget the heartbreak we all felt after last season,” Schertz added.
The Lincoln Memorial University Railsplitters men’s basketball team will have some holes to fill coming into the new season but if the new talent can mix with the returning ten it might just lead to another run deep into the tournaments for Coach Schertz and his highly successful program.