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MBB: Mavs picked 7th in Sun Belt

Brandon Edwards is third-team All-Sun Belt Conference.

 
Brandon Edwards is third-team All-Sun Belt Conference.
 

Oct. 30, 2013

ARLINGTON, Texas – Senior forward Brandon Edwards earned third-team All-Sun Belt Conference honors and UT Arlington was picked seventh in the preseason poll, the conference announced Wednesday.

Western Kentucky, winners of the last two Sun Belt Conference tournament championships, has been picked to win the league while South Alabama senior forward Augustine Rubit earned distinction as the 2013-14 Sun Belt Conference Preseason Player of the Year.

Voting for the Preseason Sun Belt All-Conference Team and Poll was conducted by the league's 10 head coaches.

Edwards enters his senior season as UT Arlington's leading returning scorer and rebounder. Edwards started 26 of the team’s 33 games in 2012-13 and averaged 7.3 points per game. He was fifth in the Western Athletic Conference in rebounds at 8.2 per game and his 58.5 shooting percentage was third overall in the conference.

Edwards previously was named to College Sports Madness' 2013-14 Sun Belt preseason second team.

"I am very excited for Brandon, and he is very deserving of this recognition," UT Arlington coach Scott Cross said. "However, I think that Brandon will exceed his third-team status before the season is over. Brandon has worked extremely hard this summer and is poised to have an outstanding senior year. He should be one of the best rebounders in the Sun Belt, and he will be a big-time threat for us off of the pick and roll."

The Mavericks, coming off a 19-14 season that included a trip to the CBI Tournament, received 36 points in the Coaches Poll to place seventh in the 10-team league. UT Arlington has reached the postseason in back-to-back years for the first time in program history.

"Preseason rankings mean very little to me," Cross said. "Last year, we were picked very low in the WAC and far exceeded those rankings. The only ranking that matters is where we end up at the end of the year. We know that the Sun Belt Conference is going to be very good this season, but I am confident that our players will step up to the challenge and will use this low ranking as fuel to the fire."


 

 

Two starters return for 2013-14, the first season in the Sun Belt, in Edwards and senior guard Shaquille White-Miller. Other returning letter winners are junior guard Jamel Outler and junior center Stuart Lagerson, who redshirted last season.

Newcomers included senior guard Reger Dowell, junior forward Vincent Dillard, junior guard Lonnie McClanahan, junior forward Anthony Walker, freshman forward Brandon Williams and freshman forward Jorge Bilbao.

The season gets underway Nov. 8 at Boise State. The College Park Center home opener is Nov. 12 against Samford at 7:30 p.m. Homecoming is Nov. 15 against Cleveland State at 7:30 p.m.

The non-conference schedule is highlighted by a trip to face 2012 national champion Kentucky on Nov. 19. The 18-game Sun Belt slate opens Jan. 2 against Arkansas State. The Sun Belt Tournament begins March 13 in New Orleans.

Single game tickets for UT Arlington men's and women's basketball are on sale and can be ordered by clicking here or calling 817-272-9595.

Preseason First Team All-Sun Belt Conference
R.J. Hunter (Georgia State, So., G)
Shawn Long (UL-Lafayette, So., F)
Elfrid Payton (UL-Lafayette, Jr., G)
Augustine Rubit (South Alabama, Sr., F)
T.J. Price (WKU, Jr., G)

Preseason Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference
Will Neighbour (UALR, Sr., F)
Brandon Reed (Arkansas State, Sr., G)
Ryan Harrow (Georgia State, r-Jr., G)
Joel Wright (Texas State, Sr., F)
George Fant (WKU, Jr., F)

Preseason Third Team All-Sun Belt Conference
Ed Townsel (Arkansas State, Sr., G)
Jayon James (UL-Monroe, Sr., F)
Mychal Ammons (South Alabama, Jr., F)
Brandon Edwards (UT Arlington, Sr., F)
Hunter Williams (Troy, Sr., G)

Preseason Player of the Year
Augustine Rubit (South Alabama, Sr., F)

Preseason Coaches Poll
Points (First place votes in parenthesis)

1. Western Kentucky

91 (5)

2. South Alabama

78 (2)

3. Arkansas State

74

T-4. Georgia State

73 (2)

T-4. UL-Lafayette

73 (1)

6. UALR

48

7. UT Arlington

36

8. Texas State

34

9. Troy

26

10. UL-Monroe

17

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