Arkansas State men’s basketball picked 8th in ‘The Field of 68′ Sun Belt preseason poll

Derrian Ford named to their preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team
Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 12:18 AM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Arkansas State is picked to finish eighth in The Almanac’s preseason Sun Belt Conference poll, which is an in-depth preview done by The Field of 68 Media Network, a group founded by longtime college hoops reporters Jeff Goodman and Rob Dauster.

The Red Wolves enter year one under Bryan Hodgson with a revamped roster after finishing 13th in the SBC last season with a 13-20 record, 4-14 in conference play.

A-State returns three players who saw the court for over 30 minutes a game last season in guards Caleb Fields, Terrance Ford and Avery Felts. Izaiyah Nelson, Julian Lual and Malcolm Farrington are more significant contributors who return for the Red Wolves this season.

“The core has a combination of quality downhill attackers and high-level shooters, which has given Hodgson an exciting group to build around,” writer Brian Rauf said in the Almanac’s preview of Arkansas State.

Hodgson added plenty of experience in the transfer portal, with eight new additions portaling into Jonesboro (you can read in-depth on each player here). One newcomer garnering the attention of league coaches is Arkansas transfer Derrian Ford. The 6-3 sophomore guard is listed on their preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team, as well as named the “Player Who Scares You the Most” by Sun Belt coaches.

The former Arkansas Gatorade High School Player of the Year saw limited playing time at Arkansas as a true freshman behind first-round NBA draft picks Anthony Black and Nick Smith, but the Magnolia native is just two years removed from being a Top 100 prospect in the 2022 recruiting class.

“He’s a bruising guard with high-level potential that excels around the rim and should be an elite defender at this level,” Rauf said.

The Almanac projects James Madison to win the Sun Belt, earning a 13 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Arkansas State will begin practice on Monday. The Red Wolves will tip off their season on November 6 at Wisconsin.

You can read the full Arkansas State preview here ($$$)