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MAVERICKS PICKED IN MIDDLE OF PACK

Jermaine Griffin was named preseason first team all-Southland Conference, it was announced Monday.
 
Jermaine Griffin was named preseason first team all-Southland Conference, it was announced Monday.
 

Oct. 22, 2007

FRISCO, Texas - - The UT Arlington men's basketbalal team was picked to finish third by both the Southland Conference coaches and sports information directors, it was announced Monday.

The poll was released prior to the league's basketball media day which is being held at the Merrill Center in Katy on Monday. Persons can view the basketball media day by going to http://www.southland.org between 1:30 and 4 p.m.

Lamar and Northwestern State were the top choice in the East Division while Sam Houston State is the choice in the West Division.

Six head coaches picked Lamar to finish atop the East, while Northwestern State received five votes and McNeese State got one first-place vote. In the West, eight head coaches picked Sam Houston State to win the title, while two picked UT Arlington. A&M-Corpus Christi, the defending SLC regular-season and tournament champion and Stephen F. Austin also received single first place votes.

The sports information directors knotted Northwestern State and Lamar in the East, with both schools receiving five first place votes, while McNeese State got the final two votes. In the West, the SIDs picked Sam Houston State to finish first, with six first place votes, while A&M-Corpus Christi got four votes. UT Arlington and Stephen F. Austin also received first place votes.

Lamar got 61 total points to place first in the head coaches East Division poll, while Northwestern State got 59. McNeese State received 48 points to rank third, while Southeastern Louisiana stands fourth with 32 points. Central Arkansas and Nicholls State rounded out the coaches poll, with 25 and 21 points, respectively.

In the West, Sam Houston State got a league-best 63 points to finish first, while A&M-Corpus Christi is second with 50. UT Arlington ranks third with 47 points, while Stephen F. Austin received 40 points. UTSA and Texas State rounded out the poll, with 27 and 18 points, respectively.

The SIDs voted Northwestern State first in the East with 58 points, edging Lamar's 56-point total. McNeese State was third with 50 points, while Southeastern Louisiana stands fourth with 36. Nicholls State and Central Arkansas round out the poll with 26 and 19 points, respectively.

 

 

In the West, the SIDs voted Sam Houston State first with 60 points, while A&M-Corpus Christi got 49 points to stand second. UT Arlington and Stephen F. Austin tied for third with 44 points, while UTSA and Texas State rounded out the poll with 29 and 20 points, respectively.

The top two East divisional finishers and top two West divisional finishers will automatically qualify for the 2008 Southland Conference Basketball Tournament in Katy, Texas. The next four teams with the best winning percentages will round out the field of eight. Central Arkansas is ineligible for tournament consideration due to its membership transition from Division II to Division I.

The return of 2006-07 SLC Player of the Year, A&M-Corpus Christi's Chris Daniels, highlights the league's 2007-08 men's basketball preseason team, which was announced by the league office today. Eight different schools are represented on the league's preseason teams.

Daniels, who flirted with the 2007 NBA Draft but did not hire an agent, looks to become the fifth player in league history to win two SLC Player of the Year honors and the third to win back-to-back honors. Last season, he finished No. 3 in the league in scoring at 15.3 points per game, as he led the Islanders to a 26-7 overall record, as the school earned its first SLC regular-season title, SLC tournament title and NCAA Tournament berth. Daniels, a preseason All-America selection entering this season, was also last year's SLC Tournament MVP and also earned honorable-mention All-America honors from the Associated Press.

Joining Daniels on the first-team is Sam Houston State's Ryan Bright, a first-team All-SLC selection last year. Bright returns a 14.8 points per game average, which ranked No. 7 in the SLC last year. Bright was also a league-best three-time SLC Player of the Week selection last season.

Also on the first team is UT Arlington's Jermaine Griffin, who returns 13.2 points per game and 6.8 rebounds per contest. Griffin set a UTA school record with 58 blocked shots last year and enters this season needing 179 points and 40 rebounds to attain 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in his career.

Lamar's Lamar Sanders led the league in rebounds per game at 9.8, which also ranked No. 12 nationally. Sanders also averaged 12.2 points per game, and pulled down a career-high and league-best 18 rebounds against Central Arkansas. He also posted the school's first triple double, the league's only one last year, with 11 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists against Louisiana Tech.

Rounding out the first-team is McNeese State's Jarvis Bradley, who finished No. 4 in the SLC in scoring at 15.1 points per game, earning first-team All-SLC honors.

On the second team are two Northwestern State players, Trey Gilder and Colby Bargeman. Gilder averaged 12.1 points per game last year, while Bargeman, an honorable-mention All-SLC selection, averaged 11.1.

Stephen F. Austin's Josh Alexander is also on the second-team. Alexander, a third-team All-SLC selection last year, returns 13.0 points per game. Joining him is Lamar's Darren Hopkins, who averaged 13.4 points per game last year, ranking No. 10 in the SLC.

Rounding out the second-team is Central Arkansas' Durrell Nevels, a second-team All-SLC selection last season. Nevels was No. 2 in the SLC in rebounds per game at 8.3, while also averaging 11.7 points per contest. Nevels also led the league in blocked shots with 99, averaging 3.3 per game.

2007-08 SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON POLLS

Coaches Poll (1st-place votes) Points

EAST DIVISION

1. Lamar (6) 61

2. Northwestern State (5) 59

3. McNeese State (1) 48

4. Southeastern La. 32

5. Central Arkansas 25

6. Nicholls State 21

WEST DIVISION

1. Sam Houston State (8) 63

2. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (1) 50

3. UT Arlington (2) 47

4. Stephen F. Austin (1) 40

5. UTSA 27

6. Texas State 18

Sports Information Directors (1st-place votes) Points

EAST DIVISION

1. Northwestern State (5) 58

2. Lamar (5) 56

3. McNeese State (2) 50

4. Southeastern Louisiana 36

5. Nicholls State 26

6. Central Arkansas 19

WEST DIVISION

1. Sam Houston State (6) 60

2. A&M-Corpus Christi (4) 49

T3. Texas-Arlington (1) 44

T3. Stephen F. Austin (1) 44

5. UTSA 29

6. Texas State 20

2007-08 SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE PRESEASON MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAMS FIRST TEAM

Name Ht. Cl. Pos. School Hometown/Last School

Chris Daniels 7-0 Sr. C A&M-Corpus Christi San Antonio, Texas/Sam Houston HS

Ryan Bright 6-6 Sr. F Sam Houston State Deer Park, Texas/Deer Park HS

Jermaine Griffin 6-9 Sr. G UT Arlington Houston, Texas/Sterling HS

Lamar Sanders 6-6 Sr. F Lamar Hickory, Miss./Northwest Mississippi CC

Jarvis Bradley 6-6 Sr. C McNeese State Dallas, Texas/Jacksonville JC

SECOND TEAM

Name Ht. Cl. Pos. School Hometown/Last School

Josh Alexander 6-4 Jr. G Stephen F. Austin Shreveport, La./C.E. Byrd

Durrell Nevels 6-6 Sr. F Central Arkansas Hot Springs, Ark. Three Rivers CC

Trey Gilder 6-9 Sr. F Northwestern State DeSoto, Texas/Tyler Junior College

Darren Hopkins 6-2 Sr. G Lamar Baltimore, Md./Panola JC

Colby Bargeman 6-5 Sr. F Northwestern State Lafayette, La./Northside HS

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