MBB: Mavericks picked to win another Sun Belt title

Oct. 31, 2017

Purchase Tickets | 2017-18 Schedule | 2017-18 Roster

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The UT Arlington men’s basketball team has been selected as the overwhelming favorite to repeat as the champions of the Sun Belt Conference, according to the annual preseason poll of league coaches.

In addition, UTA senior Kevin Hervey was selected as the conference’s Preseason Player of the Year and backcourt mate Erick Neal joined him as a first team preseason all-conference selection. Hervey earned both SBC Player of the Year and conference Student-Athlete of the Year honors a year ago after missing most of the 2015-16 season due to a knee injury.

The Mavericks, which posted a 27-9 record last season en route to the league’s regular season title and the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament, received nine of a possible 12 first place votes and 128 total points in the polling. The Mavericks return two starters and 10 letterwinners from last year’s team, as well as 57 percent of their scoring and 58 percent of their rebounding.

Four teams were with within four points of the runner-up spot - Georgia State, Troy, Georgia Southern and Louisiana. Georgia State, Troy and Louisiana all earned a first-place vote apiece in the preseason poll to finish second, third and fifth, respectively.

UTA’s season opens on Saturday, Nov. 11 at home against Loyola Marymount in the first of 13 non-conference games – six of which will be played in College Park Center. For tickets, visit UTATickets.com or call (817) 272-9595 during weekday business hours. A variety of season, single game and group ticket packages are available.



The Sun Belt’s 18-game conference slate leads to the conference championship beginning March 8 at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans. All 12 teams qualify for the tournament in March, with the winner of the championship earning the league’s automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. The championship game of the tournament is scheduled for Selection Sunday, March 11, and will be televised on ESPN2.

Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. UTA - 128 (9)
2. Georgia State - 116 (1)
3. Troy - 115 (1)
4. Georgia Southern - 114
5. Louisiana - 113 (1)
6. Texas State - 71
7. Arkansas State - 68
8. Coastal Carolina - 67
9. South Alabama - 43
10. Little Rock - 37
11. Appalachian State - 35
12. ULM - 28

Preseason First Team All-Sun Belt
Tookie Brown (Georgia Southern, Junior, Guard, Sport Management)
Ike Smith (Georgia Southern, Junior, Guard, Sport Management)
Kevin Hervey (UTA, Senior, Forward, Interdisciplinary Studies)
Erick Neal (UTA, Senior, Guard, Broadcasting)
Jordon Varnado (Troy, Junior, Forward)

Preseason Second Team All-Sun Belt
Ronshad Shabazz (Appalachian State, Junior, Guard, Criminal Justice)
Jaylen Shaw (Coastal Carolina, Senior, Guard)
D’Marcus Simonds (Georgia State, Sophomore, Guard, Sociology)
Bryce Washington (Louisiana, Senior, Forward, Accounting)
Wesley Person (Troy, Senior, Guard, International Business)

Preseason Third Team All-Sun Belt
Demario Beck (Coastal Carolina, Senior, Forward)
Mike Hughes (Georgia Southern, Senior, Guard, Sport Management)
Frank Bartley (Louisiana, Senior, Guard, Sociology)
Travis Munnings (ULM, Junior, Forward, General Studies)
Nijal Pearson (Texas State, Sophomore, Guard, Business Management)

Preseason Player of the Year
Kevin Hervey (UTA, Senior, Forward, Interdisciplinary Studies)

Full season and single game tickets to attend UTA men and women's basketball events are on sale through the UTA Box Office in person or by calling (817) 272-8585 and online through UTATickets.com.  Season tickets are available for as low as $99 for all 30 men and women's games, which comes out to $3.30 per game.  Single game tickets are priced at $8, $12 and $25 per game, depending on seat location.  UTA students and faculty staff tickets are available for just $5 for a single game or at a reduced rate for season tickets.  Discount Maverick Club (season) and general public (single game) parking is also available.  Visit UTATickets.com for detailed information.

For up-to-date news, photos, videos and updates you can follow UTA sports program online at UTAMavs.com or via any of several social media accounts on twitter @UTAMavs, Instagram @UTAMavs, Snapchat @UTAMavs and Facebook at UTArlingtonAthletics. Follow the UTA basketball programs on Twitter at @UTA_MBB and @LadyMavHoops.


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