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Men’s Basketball Picked to Win SWAC; Page Leads ASU Trio on Preseason All-SWAC Team


ASU BASKETBALL TEAMMONTGOMERY – While the official basketball season may have not started yet, the basketball season did get off to an unofficial start with the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) preseason coaches teleconference.
ASU Head Coach Lewis Jackson was unable to be on the conference call, but Assistant Coach Anthony Sewell sat in for Jackson and discussed the upcoming season with the media.
“It has been a long summer and we have been working hard in the classroom, in the weight room and on the track,” Sewell said. “We were able to start a little earlier and got to play in an exempt tournament and got to go to the Bahamas and the guys were excited about that. We had a great experience out there and those days of extra practice really paid off.”
“We have a bunch of seniors, four seniors that are really going to be a special group of guys for us.  They are a very close group and we tried to address the needs that we had coming out of last season which was a little height.”
The Hornets have had an opportunity to play teams such as Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Florida, Clemson and Illinois in the past and this season ASU will play at Arkansas on the SEC Network and Utah on the PAC 12 Network. Sewell talked about what this type of national exposure has meant to the ASU program.
“It’s big (the exposure),” Sewell said.  “We are looking for the most national exposure we can get and by taking these kids out to Arkansas, an SEC team that I think is picked third on their side of the division, and they are going to be really good this year, and out to Utah who is also supposed to be really good, it gives us a little test along with the exposure and it helps us get ready for the SWAC season.”
Senior Luther Page was one of three Hornets named to the All-SWAC First Team.  Page was also named the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. He is joined on the first team by juniors Jamel Waters and Bobby Brown.
With all of the experience the Hornets have coming back, the conference coaches and SID’s have picked ASU as the team to beat in the SWAC this season.
ASU received 106 total points and four first place votes to outdistance Southern who received 95 points and one first place vote.
Last year’s SWAC Champions Texas Southern finished with 91 points and three first place votes while Arkansas-Pine Bluff finished with 76 points and also had one first place vote.
Rounding off the rest of the predictions were Alcorn State ( 75 pts; 1 first place vote),  Prairie View ( 74 pts; 1 first place vote),  Alabama A&M (62 points; 1 first place vote),  Jackson State (61 pts.),  Mississippi Valley State (33 pts.) and Grambling State (30 pts; 1 first place vote).