LAFAYETTE – Louisiana Men's Basketball will face UT Arlington in the first round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament 11:30 a.m. (CT) Thursday at the Pensacola Bay Center. The contest is available to be streamed live on ESPN+.
Louisiana clinched the eighth seed after finishing the regular season with a 13-14 record including an 8-8 mark against conference opponents.
The Ragin' Cajuns are led by sophomore forward Jordan Brown who is averaging 15.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per game this season. On Monday, Brown was named second-team all-conference.
With 21 points and 11 rebounds against South Alabama (Jan. 20), the Roseville, Calif. native became one of just 36 players this season to have multiple performances of 15+ points and 15+ rebounds.
Redshirt-freshman Kobe Julien earned third-team honors on Monday after averaging 12.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per appearance.
Louisiana is 34-24 (27-24) all-time in Sun Belt Tournament games. The Ragin' Cajuns have won the conference championship six times (1992, 1994, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2014). The 2004 and 2005 records were vacated due to NCAA sanctions.
Under head coach Bob Marlin the Ragin' Cajuns have never suffered a first-round loss in the conference tournament. The program's last opening-round defeat came in 2010 with a 76-75 loss against ULM.
Throughout the season, Louisiana has relied on the inside presence of Brown and junior forward Theo Akwuba. Led by the pairing, the Ragin' Cajuns rank third in the Sun Belt with 4.26 blocks per game and second in the conference with 38.9 rebounds per contest.
With a 16 point, 15 rebound performance by Akwuba against Arkansas State (Jan. 6) Louisiana became one of just four teams in the nation with multiple 16+ point and 15+ rebound performers this season.
UT Arlington earned the ninth seed with an 11-17 record including a 7-10 against conference opponents. The Mavericks are led by senior guard David Azore who averages 19.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Azore was named first-team All-Sun Belt on Monday.
Thursday will mark the 38th meeting between the two programs, the Ragin' Cajuns lead the all-time series 24-13.
RISING IN THE RECORD BOOKS
On Feb. 23, Marlin earned his 443rd victory ranking him 30th on the career wins list among active NCAA Men's Basketball coaches.
Louisiana's 2021-22 roster features two second-generation talents in Julien and Brown. Julien's father Wayne was with the program from 1976-81 and was a member of the 1977 Southland Conference championship team.He finished his career with 1,412 points and 926 rebounds (then second in school history) and helped then-USL to the championship of the 1982 Great Alaskan Shootout where he was named to the All-Tournament team.
Dion Brown lettered for the Ragin' Cajuns from 1980-84 and finished his career as one of the top scorers and rebounders in school history. Brown, a 1984 graduate of UL, earned All-Southland Conference honors in 1982 and was a two-time All-Louisiana selection.
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