Oct. 22, 2007
FRISCO - Seniors Lamar Sanders and Darren Hopkins were named to 2007-08 Preseason All-Southland Conference teams and Lamar University was tabbed the team to beat in the East Division by the coaches, in a release by the conference office as part of SLC Basketball Media Day at the Merrill Center in Katy.
Lamar picked up six first-place votes for a total of 61 points. Defending East Division champion Northwestern State received five first-place votes and 59 points. McNeese State picked up the remaining first-place vote and totaled 48 points. Southeastern Louisiana was picked fourth (32), followed by Central Arkansas (25) and Nicholls State (21).
Sam Houston State was the overwhelming choice in the SLC West Division, garnering eight first-place votes and 63 points. Defending West Division champion Texas A&M-Corpus Christi picked up one first-place vote for 50 points. Texas-Arlington grabbed two first-place votes and 47 points. Stephen F. Austin claimed the remaining first-place vote (40). UTSA was tabbed fifth with 27 points, followed by Texas State (18).
A native of Hickory Flat, Miss., Sanders was a second-team all-SLC selection last year and was named SLC newcomer of the year. He averaged 12.2 ppg and led the SLC and ranked 12th in the NCAA in rebounding at 9.8 rpg. He also led the team with 103 assists and shot 59.3 percent from the field. He recorded the first triple-double in school history with 11 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists against Louisiana Tech.
Joining Sanders on the preseason all-SLC first-team is Chris Daniels of TAMU-CC, who was the SLC player of the year last season, Ryan Bright of SHSU, Jermaine Griffin of UTA and Jarvis Bradley of McNeese.
Hopkins, a native of Baltimore, Md., is the team's leading returning scorer at 13.4 ppg and 3.6 rpg. He shot 43.5 percent (67-of-154) from three-point range, which ranked fourth in the SLC, and 72.1 percent from the free throw line. He was second on the team in steals with 27. He was an honorable mention All-SLC selection.
Joining Hopkins on the preseason all-SLC second-team is Josh Alexander of SFA, Durrell Nevels of UCA and Trey Gilder and Colby Bargeman of Northwestern State.
Lamar, who advanced to the semifinals of the SLC Tournament for the third straight year last season, returns four starters and six letterwinners from last year's 15-17 squad. The six returning players accounted for 66 percent of the scoring and 59 percent of the rebounding from last year's squad.
Lamar ranked 12th in the NCAA in assists per game (17.3), 31st in 3-point field goals per game (8.3) and 52nd in 3-point percentage (.379). Individually, Sanders ranked 12th in the NCAA in rebounding at 9.8 rpg. The Cardinals set a new school record for three-point attempts in a season (702) and recorded the second-most three-pointers made (266) in a season.
Lamar opens the regular season Nov. 13 when Louisiana College visits the Montagne Center for a 7 p.m. game. The Cardinals will play a pair of exhibition games, hosting Incarnate Word Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. and Central Oklahoma Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.
Season tickets are on sale now for exciting Lamar Cardinals basketball. For more information or to purchase your season tickets, call the Montagne Center Ticket Office at (409) 880-1715.
2007-08 Preseason SLC Coaches Poll
1. Lamar (6) 61
2. Northwestern State (5) 59
3. McNeese State (1) 48
4. Southeastern Louisiana 32
5. Central Arkansas 25
6. Nicholls State 21
1. Sam Houston State (8) 63
2. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (1) 50
3. Texas-Arlington (2) 47
4. Stephen F. Austin (1) 40
5. Texas-San Antonio 27
6. Texas State 18 2007-08
Preseason All-Southland Teams
Chris Daniels C Sr. TAMU-CC
Ryan Bright F Sr. SHSU
Jermaine Griffin F Sr. UTA
Lamar Sanders F Sr. Lamar
Jarvis Bradley F Sr. McN
Josh Alexander G Jr. SFA
Durrell Nevels F Sr. UCA
Trey Gilder F Sr. NWLA
Darren Hopkins G Sr. Lamar
Colby Bargeman G Sr. NWLA