Ricks named to preseason all-conference first team

Sports

FRISCO-The Southland Conference announced the 2019-20 preseason all-conference teams on Wednesday morning with the Wildcats earning one selection. Senior guard Payten Ricks was named to the first team after being a key part of ACU’s run to the conference tournament title and NCAA tournament berth.

Returning players from the 2018-19 All-Conference First and Second teams are automatically named to the 2019-20 Preseason All-Conference teams at their same positions. Second team players are elevated to first team if the first team slot is vacated by a non-returning player at their same position. Vacant positions are nominated and voted upon by the conference’s head coaches. Voting for one’s own player is not permitted.

Ricks was a huge part of the Wildcats’ attack in 2018-19. He started all 34 games for ACU and averaged a team-high 32.3 minutes per game. As the third leading scorer, he averaged 11.6 points per game while shooting 42.1 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from three point range. Ricks scored in double digits in 20 games and made at least five threes, five times on the season.

“Payten is a kid that has really grown as a person and a player each year he has been in this program,” coach Golding said of his senior guard. “He is very deserving of this preseason accolade. The best thing about Payten is he would be the first to tell you that preseason awards mean nothing. He is all about doing whatever it takes to win games.”

ACU men’s basketball will begin their conference title defense on Nov. 5 when they host Arlington Baptist at 7:30 p.m. following the women’s game at 5:30 p.m. against McMurry. Follow along on acusports.com and @ACU_MBB on Twitter and Instagram for all of the preseason news.

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