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UTA, Hervey picked to lead Sun Belt in 2017-18 season - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

UTA, Hervey picked to lead Sun Belt in 2017-18 season

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NEW ORLEANS – The UTA Mavericks are preseason favorites for a second consecutive year, and its senior leading scorer Kevin Hervey is expected to repeat as Player of the Year, for the upcoming 2017-18 Sun Belt Conference men’s basketball season.

The league released its annual preseason all-conference teams and coaches’ poll based on a vote of the 12 head coaches. UTA amassed 128 points and nine first-place votes while Hervey was selected as the Preseason Player of the Year for a second consecutive season following a standout junior year.

UTA is the preseason favorite following a season in which it went 27-9 overall, won the Sun Belt regular-season title and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT. The Mavericks return two starters and 10 letterwiners from last year’s team, as well as 57 percent of their scoring and 58 percent of their rebounding.

Hervey, who returned last year following an abbreviated recovery from a knee injury during the 2016-17 season, was a First Team All-Sun Belt, NABC All-District, USBWA All-District, Associated Press All-America honorable mention and Lou Henson All-America selection. He enters the year with 1,107 career points and 639 rebounds, the second highest 3-year point total for a UTA student-athlete. He posted 16 double-doubles last year to give him 25 for his career.

Georgia State, Troy and Louisiana all earned a first-place vote apiece in the preseason poll to finish second, third and fifth, respectively.

The 2017-18 season begins on Nov. 10. An 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
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, Kinesiology)
Nijal Pearson (Texas State, Sophomore, Guard, Business Management)

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

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