Ragin’ Cajuns picked fifth in Sun Belt preseason men’s basketball poll

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NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball team was picked to finish fifth as the Sun Belt Conference released its 2017-18 Preseason Poll and Preseason All-Conference teams on Tuesday.

Seniors Bryce Washington and Frank Bartley were each named to the 15-player Preseason All-SBC team with Washington named a second-team selection with Bartley named to the third-team.

Louisiana, which finished 21-12 in 2016-17, received one first-place vote and 113 points in the 12-team field. Defending regular-season champion UT Arlington was picked to repeat after receiving nine first-place votes and 128 points in voting by the league’s head coaches.

Georgia State was picked to finish second in a poll that saw the second through fifth-place teams separated by three points. The Panthers received one first-place vote and 116 points with defending tournament champion Troy (115 points, 1 first-place vote) picked third, Georgia Southern (114 points) fourth and Louisiana fifth.

Texas State (71 points) was picked to finish sixth in the Preseason Poll with Arkansas State (68), Coastal Carolina (67), South Alabama (43), Little Rock (37), Appalachian State (35) and ULM (28) rounding out the poll.

Louisiana will open its exhibition season on Thursday (Nov. 2) against Millsaps in a 7 p.m. contest at the Cajundome before opening its season on Nov. 10 against Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss.

2017-18 Sun Belt Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Rank – Team, Points (first-place votes)

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)

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