Gold Rush rank second in 2022-23 RRAC men’s basketball coaches poll

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana men’s basketball didn’t receive any first-place votes but collected enough support to finish second in the 11-team Red River Athletic Conference 2022-23 preseason poll of the league’s head coaches.

The RRAC announced the results Wednesday.

XULA received 98 points. LSU-Shreveport is first with eight first-place votes and 111 points, and LSU-Alexandria ranked third with 85 points and one first-place vote.

The other two first-place votes went to Paul Quinn, fifth in the poll with 72 points.

XULA’s returning players from last season include:
•  Cameron Wells, a 6-foot-1 senior guard who averaged 6.9 points per game in 2021-22 and was second-team All-RRAC.
•  TJ Jones, a 5-8 senior guard who averaged 5.1 points and 3.9 assists. A three-year starter at the point, Jones is No. 8 at XULA with 334 career assists.
•  Lance Williams, a 6-1 sophomore guard who averaged 7.5 points, made 50 percent of his 3-pointers (34 of 68), was honorable-mention All-RRAC and was an RRAC Player of the Week.
•  Cory Wells, a 6-7 junior forward who averaged 6.1 points and 3.6 rebounds. Cory and Cameron Wells are brothers.
“Our collective work ethic is much better from top to bottom this season, and our camaraderie is much better,” said seventh-year head coach Alfred Williams. “We will be a much more balanced team from top to bottom. If you try to take away one of our strengths, someone else can step up and deliver. We think our ball security will be better, and that will be a huge plus for us.”
XULA will travel to Memphis, Tenn., for a 6 p.m. Oct. 29 exhibition against NCAA Division II LeMoyne-Owen, then open the regular season two days later in a 7 p.m. Halloween tip-off against Crowley’s Ridge at XULA’s Convocation Center.
XULA last season was 23-7 and, for the first time since the 1970s, won a first-round game at NAIA nationals for the second consecutive year. XULA will open its 20-game RRAC schedule at home Nov. 28 against Louisiana Christian.

RRAC Men’s Basketball 2022-23 Coaches Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses)
1. LSU-Shreveport . . . 111 points, eight first-place votes
2. XULA . . . 98 points
3. LSU-Alexandria . . . 85 points, one first-place vote
4. Texas A&M-Texarkana . . . 84 points
5. Paul Quinn . . . 72 points, two first-place votes
6. Southwest (N.M.) . . . 67 points
7. Our Lady of the Lake . . . 56 points
8. Louisiana Christian . . . 51 points
9. Huston-Tillotson . . . 45 points
10. Jarvis Christian . . . 31 points
11. Texas College . . . 26 points

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