Texas A&M-Corpus Christi picked as favorites in 2022-23 Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll
FRISCO, Texas – Texas A&M-Corpus Christi has been voted as the favorites in the Southland Conference in 2022-23 as the conference’s men’s basketball preseason poll was announced Tuesday.
The Islanders claimed 11 of 20 first place votes and 149 points and return 11 players from last year’s team that went 23-12 overall. A&M-Corpus Christi is one of three teams in the nation to bring back all five starters and its top five leading scorers from the 2021-22 season. The Islanders were the 2022 Southland Tournament champions and advanced to the First Four of the NCAA Tournament.
Two-time regular season champion Nicholls is picked second in the poll with six first place votes and 137 points, only eight points behind the lead. The Colonels return two starters from last year’s squad that went 21-12 overall and 11-3 in the league with an 11-1 home record.
New Orleans is picked third in the league with 129 points and two first place votes. The Privateers went 10-4 in the Southland last year and played in The Basketball Classic. They return three starters and eight letterwinners from last season’s squad.
Southeastern is picked fourth in the conference with 105 points, returning seven players from last season’s team that tied for regular season runner-up honors with a 10-4 conference mark.
McNeese is picked fifth with 97 points and Northwestern State is picked sixth with 92 points. The Cowboys are returning two starters from a seventh place team in the conference, while the Demons have three returners and return 22 percent of their scoring.
Southland newcomers Texas A&M-Commerce are picked seventh with 56 points, Houston Christian picked up one first place vote and is eighth with 55 points. Lamar is ninth with 44 points and UIW rounds out the poll in 10th with 36 points.
The 2022-23 regular season begins on Monday, November 7, with all of the league’s 10 teams in action. Southland Conference play will consist of 18 games in a home-and-home double round robin format starting in late December.
The 2023 Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament will be played on March 5-8 in Lake Charles, La., at McNeese State’s Legacy Center.
2022-23 Southland Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll
Pl School 1st Points
1 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 11 149
2 Nicholls 6 137
3 New Orleans 2 129
4 Southeastern 105
5 McNeese 97
6 Northwestern State 92
7 Texas A&M-Commerce 56
8 HCU 1 55
9 Lamar 44
10 UIW 36
FRISCO, Texas – The 2022-23 Preseason Men’s Basketball All-Southland Conference teams were announced Tuesday morning, with the preseason favorites claiming four positions.
PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR – DARIUS LEE, HOUSTON CHRISTIAN
In the summer of 2022, the men’s basketball coaches of the Southland Conference unanimously voted to honor the late Darius Lee of Houston Christian as the preseason player of the year.
Lee tragically died of a gunshot wound in June in his hometown of Harlem, N.Y. Lee had been named the Robbie Robertson Male Student-Athlete of the Year on campus and had led the Huskies in scoring and rebounding and ranked seventh in the nation in steals per game in 2021-22. His 52 points against McNeese to close the regular season was the highest point total by any NCAA Division I player last season and tied the school record for most points in a single game.
As a second team all-Southland honoree in 2022, Lee would have been the sole returning promotion to the first team preseason all-conference this year. He is elevated this season to Preseason Player of the Year – a position which is not normally awarded by the conference. He will also be honored on November 21 as the Huskies play in the Darius Lee Memorial Classic at Rice University.
Preseason favorites Texas A&M-Corpus Christi claims three spots on the preseason first team all-conference, while Nicholls and McNeese each take one place.
A&M-Corpus Christi’s Isaac Mushila was a second team all-conference honoree in 2021-22 and the conference’s Newcomer of the Year. He led the Islanders in scoring (13.2 points per game) and rebounding (9.4 rebounds per game). He finished the season ranked ninth nationally in offensive rebounds, 13th in total rebounds, and had 13 double-doubles.
The Islanders’ Trevian Tennyson was a third team all-conference selection in 2021-22 after averaging 12.0 points per game. The long-range specialist hit a three-pointer in every game of the season and led the Islanders with 18 points in the NCAA Tournament game against Texas Southern.
Nicholls’ Latrell Jones was a third team all-conference pick in 2021-22, averaging 11.9 points per game for the regular season champions. He scored in double figures 22 times, including the final 10 games of the season consecutively.
McNeese’s Christian Shumate was a third team all-conference honoree in 2021-22, leading the Cowboys and ranking 11th in the conference in scoring at 12.2 points per game. His 6.7 rebounds per game ranked sixth in the league. He scored in double figures in 21 games and had 20 or more points in six games.
Joining the previous honorees is 2022 Southland Tournament MVP Terrion Murdix of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Murdix led the conference in assists last year with 3.38 per game and was also on the Southland All-Defensive Team, ranking fourth in the conference in steals at 1.9 per game.
Five new honorees represent three schools on the preseason second team all-conference.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi’s Simeon Fryer was on the 2022 All-Southland Tournament team and was the only Islander to start all 35 games last season. He averaged 8.5 points per game and shot 37.1 percent from three-point range.
New Orleans is represented on the second team by Tyson Jackson and Simeon Kirkland.
Jackson was the only Privateer to start all 32 games last season, averaging 8.7 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. He led UNO in shooting percentage at 58.9 percent.
Kirkland started 25 games last season and averaged 8.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He had double-doubles against Utah State and McNeese.
Defending regular season champions Nicholls have Manny Littles and Pierce Spencer on the preseason second team.
Littles started in 10 games last season, averaging 24.0 minutes per game. He scored 8.8 points per contest and had double figures in 12 games, with consecutive double-doubles against Oregon State and Purdue.
Spencer was a primary starter for the Colonels, with 24 starts. He scored 9.0 points per game and scored in double figures 12 times, highlighted by a 25-point performance against New Orleans.
2022-23 Southland Men’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference
PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Darius Lee, HCU (awarded posthumously)
Name School Pos. Cl. Hometown
Latrell Jones ^ Nicholls G 5th New Orleans, La.
Terrion Murdix Texas A&M-Corpus Christi G Sr. Springfield, Ill.
Isaac Mushila % Texas A&M-Corpus Christi F Sr. Lubumbashi, Congo
Christian Shumate ^ McNeese F So. Chicago, Ill.
Trevian Tennyson ^ Texas A&M-Corpus Christi G Sr. Arlington, Texas
Name School Pos. Cl. Hometown
Simeon Fryer Texas A&M-Corpus Christi G R-Sr. Philadelphia, Pa.
Tyson Jackson New Orleans F Jr. Fairburn, Ga.
Simeon Kirkland New Orleans F Sr. Ocala, Fla.
Manny Littles Nicholls F 5th Lanett, Ala.
Pierce Spencer Nicholls G Jr. Porter, Texas
%= 2021-22 Second Team All-Southland
^= 2021-22 Third Team All-Southland
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