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Courtesy: SWAC.org

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Texas Southern University was picked to win the 2015-16 Southwestern Athletic Conference men's basketball championship in a preseason poll of the league's head coaches and sports information directors.swac logo125

The announcement was made by the SWAC during its annual media teleconference on Wednesday, October 14.

The Tigers finished 2014-15 with a 22-13 overall record and were 16-2 in the Conference. TSU also won the SWAC tournament title and earned a 15 seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Their opponent in last season’s title game, Southern University came in second place followed by Alabama State in third. Alabama A&M was predicted to finish fourth with Prairie View A&M coming in fifth.

Rounding out the poll includes: Jackson State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Mississippi Valley State, Alcorn State and Grambling State
2015-16 All-SWAC Preseason Men's Basketball Team

The 2015-1 All-SWAC preseason first and second teams are highlighted by senior guard Ladarius Tabb (Alabama A&M) and senior center David Blanks (Texas Southern). Tabb was selected as the SWAC Preseason Player of the Year with Blanks garnering the SWAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year honor.

Last season, Tabb led the SWAC in scoring (17.8) and rebounds (8.0) and was named Newcomer of the Year. He was a four-time Player of the Week honoree and scored 20-plus points ten times last season including four 30-plus point outputs. He scored a career high 33 points against Alcorn State.

Blanks averaged 22.9 minutes-per game in 2014 and assisted in getting Texas Southern back to their second consecutive appearance in the SWAC Championship game. The Barberton, Ohio native returns as the team’s second leading defensive rebounder. Banks also finished last year with 20 steals

Additionally, Tabb was voted on as an All-SWAC preseason first team selection.

Rounding out the squad list is guard, Jamel Waters (Alabama State), forwards Marquis Vance (Alcorn State), Adrian Rodgers (Southern), and center Nick West (Alabama A&M).

The second team includes: guards Chris Thomas (Texas Southern) and Tre’Lun Banks (Southern), forwards Malcolm Riley (Texas Southern), and Bobby Brown (Alabama State) with the Treshawn Bolden earning the center spot for Jackson State.

In the event that a player was named to the first team during the postseason, and does not return, the second team player for that position was elevated to the first team. Players were ranked in their position based on the number of votes received.

Men's 2015-16 Preseason Award Winners
(Selected by SWAC Head Basketball Coaches and SID's)

MEN’S BASKETBALL – PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

1. Texas Southern - 123
2. Southern – 112
3. Alabama State – 97
4. Alabama A&M – 89
5. Prairie View A&M – 73
6. Jackson State – 73
7. Arkansas-Pine Bluff – 61
8. Mississippi Valley State – 36
9. Alcorn State – 31
10. Grambling State - 20

PLAYER OF THE YEAR -Ladarius Tabb (Alabama A&M)
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR -David Blanks (Texas Southern)

ALL-SWAC MEN’S BASKETBALL - FIRST TEAM

G Ladarius Tabb (Alabama A&M)
G Jamel Waters (Alabama State)
F Marquis Vance (Alcorn State)
F Adrian Rodgers (Southern)
C Nick West (Alabama A&M)

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