| ||All-Conference team|
Chico Fletcher, senior, guard, Arkansas State
Craig Jackson, senior, guard, Louisiana Tech
Curtis Wilson, senior, forward, New Orleans
Lonnie Thomas, junior, forward, Louisiana-Lafayette
Darius Cook, senior, center, Florida International
Player of the year
Chico Fletcher, senior, Arkansas State
Newcomer of the year
Lucas Barnes, junior, Florida International
1. Arkansas State
2. Louisiana Tech
3. Western Kentucky
1. Florida International
2. Louisiana Tech
3. New Orleans
Team on the rise
Team on the fall
Did you know?You can thank the Sun Belt Conference for the shot clock in college basketball. In the 1978 league tournament title game, New Orleans beat South Alabama, 22-20, prompting the league to experiment the next season with a 45-second shot clock that ran the entire first half and all but the final four minutes of the second half. With NCAA approval, that experiment ran for seven seasons before the NCAA Rules Committee mandated it for all games beginning with the 1985-86 season. The shot clock is now 35 seconds.
Not counting league newcomer Denver, the other eight members of the Sun Belt Conference have all competed in the NCAA Tournament during this decade. Only five other conferences in the country can make that claim. Denver, however, did compete in the NCAA Division II Tournament this decade before moving up.
Louisiana Tech is tied for the 17th-longest home winning streak in the country (13).
Three Sun Belt schools christen new arenas this season: AllTEL Arena (Arkansas-Little Rock), Mitchell Center ( South Alabama) and Magness Arena (Denver).
For the fourth straight year and sixth time in the last seven, a Sun Belt team will open its season in the Preseason NIT. At Utah on Nov. 17, Arkansas State will have a rematch of last season's NCAA Tournament first-round loss.
While the host team has not won the Sun Belt Tournament since 1991, the homecourt advantage is crucial for the regular-season title. Last season, the home team won 42 of 56 games. But only one team -- regular-season champ Louisiana Tech -- went undefeated at home.
The Sun Belt Conference Tournament will be televised live on ESPN for the 21st consecutive year. The Sun Belt is the only conference to have its championship game televised live on ESPN every year since the network's inception.
Last season marked the first time in a decade and only the third time in the league's 23-year history that every Sun Belt team won at least 11 games.
|The 19th edition of Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook is on sale now. To order, call 800-828-HOOP (4667), or visit their web site at