RICHARDSON, Texas — Hardin-Simmons’ men’s basketball team has been picked fifth in the American Southwest Conference preseason poll of coaches, sports information directors and media members that was announced on Tuesday.
Mary Hardin-Baylor, was picked to win the league. The Cru went to the national championship game a year ago and received 21 of 26 first-place votes. They return three starters and nine lettermen.
Texas-Dallas was picked second in the poll with 276 points and two first-place votes. Defending league champion Concordia was picked third with 265 points and Texas-Tyler was picked fifth with 219 points.
HSU (199), East Texas Baptist (128), Mississippi College (122), Louisiana College (118), LeTourneau (116, Howard Payne (93), Sul Ross State (62) and Ozarks (50) rounded out the poll.
The Cowboys return three lettermen from a year ago and one starter. HSU also returns a pair of players that were key figures in their 2012 run to the ASC Championship game in Derrick Jefferson and Jim Walter. Jefferson missed last year with a broken ankle and Walter sat out the year preparing for medical school exams. HSU went 16-11 last season and advanced to the ASC Semifinals.
UTD’s Kyle Schleigh was named the preseason player of the year. He averaged 21.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game last year.
This marks the 18th year of American Southwest Conference basketball and the teams will play a new format without divisions. It will be a true home-and-home round robin against everyone in the league. The top eight teams will play in the ASC Championship Tournament at the end of the year.
2014 Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll
1. Mary Hardin-Baylor (21)
2. Texas-Dallas (2)
3. Concordia Texas (3)
6. East Texas Baptist
7. Mississippi College
8. Louisiana College
10. Howard Payne
11. Sul Ross State