A-State Men’s Basketball Picked Fifth in SBC Preseason Poll
NEW ORLEANS, La. (10/23/14) – The Arkansas State University men's basketball team has been selected to finish fifth in the 2014-15 Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Men's Basketball Preseason Poll<http://www.sunbeltsports.org/news/2014/10/23/MBB_1023145634.aspx>, which was announced this Thursday (Oct. 23) by the conference office.
A-State received 73 total points in the conference balloting, which was conducted by the league's 11 head coaches. Georgia State, the 2013-14 conference regular-season champion, was tabbed as the preseason favorites with 121 points and received all 11 first-place votes.
The Red Wolves, under the direction of seventh-year head coach John Brady, lost all five of its senior starters from last season's 19-13 team as juniors Cameron Golden and Kelvin Downs are the top returnees. Golden, a 6-0 guard and a 2014-15 College Sports Madness Sun Belt Conference Preseason Fourth-Team selection, averaged a team sixth-best 7.6 points (244 pts.) and 2.5 rebounds (52 rebs.) last season in 32 contests while pacing A-State in assists with 81 total (2.5 apg.) and his 36 steals (1.1 spg.) ranked second among the squad's leaders. Downs recorded averages of 2.2 points (69 pts.) and rebounds (69 rebs.) apiece in 32 appearances. The 6-9 forward finished third on the team's blocked shots leaders list with 19 rejections.
A season ago, the Red Wolves were picked third in the preseason poll with 74 points and would conclude the conference season with a fourth-place 10-8 league mark after winning the SBC West Division title in 2012-13 as a result of posting a first-place 12-8 conference record.
A-State will tipoff the 2014-15 hoops campaign with a pair of home exhibition games, starting Wednesday, Nov. 5 against Henderson State. The Red Wolves then entertain Southern Arkansas a week later (Nov. 12) in their final exhibition tilt. Both games are slated for 7:05 p.m. (CST) start times at the Convocation Center in Jonesboro, Ark.
The regular-season opener for A-State is Monday, Nov. 17, when the Red Wolves host the UT Martin Skyhawks in a 7:05 p.m. (CT) non-conference game at the Convocation Center.