SFA men's basketball team ranked No. 1 in Southland Conference

SFA men's basketball team ranked No. 1 in Southland Conference

From the Stephen F. Austin State University Athletic Department

FRISCO, TX (News Release) - After posting a runner-up finish in the Southland Conference one season ago, the Stephen F. Austin men's basketball team is the overwhelming favorite to claim the 2017-18 Southland Conference regular season title. It was announced this morning when the league unveiled its 2017-18 Preseason Poll.

The 'Jacks collected 14 of the 26 available first-place votes in the poll which was voted on by all head coaches and sports information directors in the 13-team conference. SFA returns 75-percent of its scoring as well as four of five starters from the previous campaign. Included among those returning starters are seniors Ivan Canete, Ty Charles and Leon Gilmore III as well as 2017-18 All-Southland Conference Preseason First Team choice TJ Holyfield.

In all, SFA returns nine letterwinners from 2015-16 and welcome five newcomers to the fold as well. Those five newcomers represent the nation's 74th-best recruiting class according to 247Sports.com.

Lamar, who SFA defeated in the quarterfinal round of the Southland Conference Tournament last season, received five first-place votes and was chosen for a runner-up finish behind the 'Jacks. The Cardinals amassed 234 total votes and behind them in the third-place slot was Southeastern Louisiana which received a trio of first-place votes and 209 total points.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (two first place votes, 204 total points) and Sam Houston State (one first place vote, 192 total points) rounded out the top five teams in the 2017-18 preseason poll.

Currently, the 'Jacks are in the midst of their preseason practices in preparation for their season opener on Saturday, Nov. 11. On that day, SFA tips off at Longwood in Farmville, Va., at 2:00 p.m.

2017 Southland Conference Men's Basketball Preseason Poll
Place. School (First Place Votes) | Total Points
1. Stephen F. Austin (14) | 268
 2. Lamar (5) | 234
 3. Southeastern Louisiana (3) | 209
 4. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (2) | 204
 5. Sam Houston State (1) | 192
 6. New Orleans (1) | 178
 7. Abilene Christian | 172
 8. Northwestern State | 130
 9. Houston Baptist | 119
 10. Nicholls | 116
 11. Central Arkansas | 108
 12. Incarnate Word | 56
 13. McNeese | 42