EMCC Lions improve three spots to No. 13 in NJCAA
SCOOBA — Another three-spot move upward has landed the East Mississippi Community College Lions at the No. 13 position in this week’s NJCAA Division I men’s basketball rankings.
As the country’s highest ranked Mississippi school, EMCC’s most recent ranking comes on the heels of a previous three-position climb to No. 16 in last week’s national rankings after knocking off nationally ranked Shelton State for the second time during a two-week span earlier this season.
Now 9-2 overall and 2-0 in MACCC play while riding a current six-game winning streak, head coach Billy Begley’s EMCC Lions are slated to return to action for the first time in a month by playing host to the Holmes Bulldogs on Thursday evening (Jan. 13). Tip-off at Keyes T. Currie Coliseum on the Scooba campus is set for 6 p.m.
The Lions’ return to competition following the semester break was delayed a week when their scheduled Jan. 6 contest at Copiah-Lincoln was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. The makeup date for last week’s postponement has been set for Saturday (Jan. 15) afternoon on the Co-Lin campus in Wesson with a scheduled 2 p.m. start time at Mullen Gymnasium.
After this week’s scheduled games against Holmes and Copiah-Lincoln, the EMCC men are then slated to take on the MACCC’s other currently ranked men’s teams – No. 14 Jones College and 24th-ranked Northeast Mississippi – the following week six days apart and both on the road. The Lions are set to meet the JC Bobcats in Ellisville on Tuesday (Jan. 18) before traveling to Booneville to battle the Northeast Tigers the following Monday (Jan. 24). In between the team’s upcoming road contests against ranked foes, EMCC is scheduled to play host to Mississippi Delta on Thursday (Jan. 20).
The Lions’ current No. 13 national ranking marks their highest chart position since EMCC’s 2013-14 team was ranked 11th in the NJCAA’s preseason men’s basketball poll after claiming a fourth consecutive NJCAA Region 23 Tournament championship and making a fourth straight NJCAA Tournament appearance the previous season.