BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Grambling State has been picked to finish first in the 2018-19 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) men’s basketball standings in a preseason poll conducted by the conference office from the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.
The announcement was made by the SWAC during its annual media teleconference call on Thursday.
The Tigers finished the 2017-18 season strong with conference best marks of 17-14 overall and 13-5 in conference play to earn the program’s first regular season championship since the 1988-89 season. Reigning SWAC Coach of the Year Donte Jackson returns to the bench for his second season.
2018-19 All-SWAC Preseason Men’s Basketball Team
Returning for his senior campaign, Arkansas-Pine Bluff guard Martaveous McKnight was named the SWAC Preseason Men’s Basketball Player of the Year. McKnight ranked third in the conference in scoring, averaging 18.6 points per game, was eighth in field percentage at 45.7%, fourth in assists at 3.6 per contest, third in steals per game at 1.9 per contest, ninth in 3-point percentage at 36.4%, seventh in 3-pointers made at 1.9 per game, fifth in assist to turnover ratio at 1.4, eighth in defensive rebounds per game at 3.9 and was ranked third in minutes with an average of 33.4 minutes logged per game.
The SWAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year award went to Texas Southern redshirt senior center Trayvon Reed. A near unanimous selection, the 7-foot-2 Reed averaged a conference-best three blocks per game, was tied for first in rebounding with 8.8 per game, was first in defensive rebounds per game (6.2), was second in field goal percentage at 68.4%, and was ranked 22nd in scoring at 9.7 points per contest.
MEN’S 2018-19 PRESEASON AWARD WINNERS
(Selected by SWAC Head Basketball Coaches and Sports Information Directors)
PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Martaveous McKnight, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
PRESEASON DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Trayvon Reed, Texas Southern
Guard – Martaveous McKnight, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Guard – Ivy Smith Jr., Grambling State
Forward – Charles Jackson, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Forward – Dante Scott, Mississippi Valley State
Center – Trayvon Reed, Texas Southern
Guard – Gary Blackston, Prairie View A&M
Guard – Reginald Gee, Alabama State
Forward – Devante Jackson, Grambling State
Forward – Sydney Umude, Southern
Center – Brandon Johnson, Alabama State
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
1. Grambling State (173)
2. Texas Southern (151)
3. Arkansas-Pine Bluff (143)
4. Prairie View A&M (132)
5. Alabama State (107)
6. Southern (104)
7. Alcorn State (81)
8. Jackson State (72)
9. Mississippi Valley State (45)
10. Alabama A&M (37)