NewsLocal NewsIn Your Parish


Cajuns picked to finish second in Sun Belt

Posted at 5:18 PM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-25 18:18:48-04

NEW ORLEANS (PRESS RELEASE) – The defending Sun Belt Conference champion Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball team was picked to finish in a tie for second-place, while seniors JaKeenan Gant and Marcus Stroman each claimed early honors as the league office released its 2018-19 Preseason Poll on Thursday.

Louisiana, which finished 27-7 last season and 16-2 in SBC play, received 125 points in a vote by the league’s head coaches and was picked to finish in a tie for second-place with Georgia Southern. Defending SBC Tournament champion Georgia State was picked to finish first in the preseason poll after earning all 12 first-place votes.

Gant, the 2018 SBC Newcomer and Defensive Player of the Year, was selected to the second-team after earning third-team honors in 2017-18. The 6-foot-8 forward enjoyed a breakout season for Louisiana in his inaugural campaign, averaging 13.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game.

He led the Sun Belt Conference in both field goal percentage (.553) and blocked shots (2.3) while ranking 21st nationally in blocked shots per game and 24th in total blocks (74).

Stroman, a third-team preseason selection, finished second in the Sun Belt Conference in assists per game (6.5) while leading the league in assist/turnover ratio (2.2). The 6-foot-2 guard played in 33 games in his first season with the Ragin’ Cajuns and averaged 6.8 points per game.

Stroman’s 213 assists during the season were the fourth-most by a Ragin’ Cajun in school history and the 12th-highest total among NCAA players during the season.

Season tickets for Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball are currently on sale to the general public.

Season ticket prices have been set for the 2018-19 season with seats beginning at $100. Fans can purchase tickets online at using Account Manager, visiting the Louisiana Athletics Ticket Office located at the Cajundome or by calling the ticket office at (337) 265-2357.

RCAF Annual Fund members who want premium parking for the 2018-19 season will be required to purchase a season pass for an additional fee of $60.

To be eligible to buy a premium parking pass, RCAF members are required to purchase season tickets and make a contribution to the RCAF Annual Fund. Parking lot location eligibility for each sport will be based on membership level within RCAF.

The new policy is consistent with other Division I athletic programs, complies with state regulations, aligns with University policies associated with RV parking and tailgate locations, and supports the department’s priorities of graduating student-athletes and winning championships.

The Ragin’ Cajuns officially opens their 2018-19 season at home on Nov. 6 against the University of the Virgin Islands. Louisiana will also host Southern (Dec. 1), Loyola of New Orleans (Dec. 5), Prairie View (Dec. 11) and Louisiana Tech (Dec. 15) in non-conference play before opening its Sun Belt Conference slate against Arkansas State on Jan. 3, 2019 at the Cajundome.

Louisiana will also host Little Rock (Jan. 5), South Alabama (Jan. 24), Troy (Jan, 26), Georgia Southern (Feb. 6), Georgia State (Feb. 8), ULM (Feb. 16), Coastal Carolina (Feb. 28) and Appalachian State (March 3) in SBC games.

Follow the Ragin’ Cajuns on Twitter (@RaginCajunsMBB), Facebook (Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns) or Instagram (@RaginCajunsMBB) to stay up-to-date on all that is happening with Louisiana Men’s Basketball.

2018-19 Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Preseason honors:

All-Sun Belt First Team
Tookie Brown, Georgia Southern (Sr., G, Madison, Ga.)
Travis Munnings, ULM (Sr., F, Freeport, Bahamas)
Ronshad Shabazz, Appalachian State (Sr., G, Raleigh, N.C.)
D’Marcus Simonds, Georgia State (Jr., G, Gainesville, Ga.)
Jordon Varnado, Troy (Sr., F, Brownsville, Tenn.)

All-Sun Belt Second Team
Zac Cuthbertson, Coastal Carolina (Sr., F, New Bern, N.C.)
JaKeenan Gant, Louisiana (Sr., F, Springfield, Ga.)
Devin Mitchell, Georgia State (Sr., G, Suwanee, Ga.)
Nijal Pearson, Texas State (Jr., G, Beaumont, Texas)
Rodrick Sikes, South Alabama (Sr., G, Ocean Springs, Miss.)

All-Sun Belt Third Team
Josh Ajayi, South Alabama (Jr., F, El Monte, Calif.)
Ty Cockfield II, Arkansas State (Sr., G, Gainesville, Ga.)
Michael Ertel, ULM (So., G, Indianapolis, Ind.)
Ike Smith, Georgia Southern (Sr., G, Gainesville, Fla.)
Marcus Stroman, Louisiana (Sr., G, Columbia, S.C.)

2018-19 Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Preseason Player of the Year:
D’Marcus Simonds, Georgia State (Jr., G, Gainesville, Ga.)

2018-19 Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Preseason Poll
(first-place votes in parentheses)

Rank – Team, Points
1.      Georgia State (12), 144
2.      Georgia Southern, 125
Louisiana, 125
4.      ULM, 89
Troy, 89
6.      Appalachian State, 86
7.      South Alabama, 80
8.      Texas State, 67
9.      Arkansas State, 42
10.    Coastal Carolina, 40
11.    UTA, 33
12.    Little Rock, 16