South Alabama Picked to Win in Sun Belt Men’s Basketball
It's no surprise that South Alabama is picked to win the Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball title in 2019-20.
It's also no surprise that Louisiana is picked in the middle of the pack.
The Jaguars return two players picked to the first team in the poll conducted by the league with the head coaches voting. Trhae Mitchell has been selected as the Preseason Player of the Year. Josh Ajayi is also a first team selection. The Jags also will infuse several transfers into their program.
Louisiana is picked fifth by the coaches, a notch or two higher than most publications. Junior guard Cedric Russell was named to the preseason third team. The Cajuns will have nine new players on the roster and one, guard/forward Durey Caldwell has already been ruled out for the season because of injury.
The Jaguars received eight of the twelve first place votes in the poll. #2 UTA (2), #3 Georgia Southern (1) and #4 Texas State (1) received the other first place votes.
In addition to Mitchell and Ajayi, Georgia Southern's Quan Jackson, Brian Warren of UTA and Nijal Pearson of Texas State were the other first team selections.
Here is the projected order of finish.
1. South Alabama (8) – 138 points
2. UTA (2) - 124
3. Georgia Southern (1) - 121
4. Texas State (1) - 110
5. Louisiana - 92
6. Georgia State - 76
7. Coastal Carolina - 75
8. ULM - 72
9. Appalachian State - 40
10. Arkansas State - 33
11. Little Rock - 32
12. Troy - 22
Here is the preseason all-conference team
Preseason All-Sun Belt First Team
Quan Jackson, Georgia Southern (RJr., G, Tallahassee, Fla.)3
Josh Ajayi, South Alabama (RSr., F, El Monte, Calif.)2
Trhae Mitchell, South Alabama (RSr., F, Austell, Ga.)3
Brian Warren, UTA (Sr., G, Indianapolis, Ind.)3
Nijal Pearson, Texas State (Sr., G, Beaumont, Texas)1
Preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team
Justin Forrest, Appalachian State (Jr., G, Decatur, Ga.)
DeVante Jones, Coastal Carolina (So., G, New Orleans, La.)*
Ike Smith, Georgia Southern (RSr., G, Gainesville, Fla.)
Kane Williams, Georgia State (Jr., G, Douglasville, Ga.)
Michael Ertel, ULM (Jr., G, Indianapolis, Ind.)3
Preseason All-Sun Belt Third Team
Isaac Johnson, Appalachian State (Sr., F, Charlotte, N.C.)
Isaiah Crawley, Georgia Southern (Sr., F, Ripley, Tenn.)
Cedric Russell, Louisiana (Jr., G, Alexandria, La.)
JD Williams, ULM (Sr., G, Birmingham, Ala.)
Don Coleman, South Alabama (RSr., G, North Augusta, S.C.)