UMHB men’s basketball earns top spot in ASC Preseason Poll

RICHARDSON, Texas- Coming off a 13-0 ASC record a year ago, it came as no surprise that the UMHB men’s basketball team was picked to win the conference in the ASC Preseason Poll, released Thursday. 

UMHB received 19 of the 22 first place votes from league head coaches and sports information directors, contributing to 237 total points for the Cru. Head coach Clif Carroll’s team posted a 16-4 record last season, and reached the ASC tournament semifinals before falling to Louisiana College.

The Cru opens the season ranked No. 12 in the D3hoops.com Preseason Top 25 Poll. 

Hardin-Simmons, with 211 points, was picked to finish second, and UT-Dallas predicted to take third. ETBU and defending champion Ozarks rounded out the top five. 

ASC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll (Per ascsports.org)

No.Team (First-place votes)Pts.2020-21 Record (ASC)
1.Mary Hardin-Baylor (19)23716-4 (13-0)
2.Hardin-Simmons (2)21116-8 (10-5)
3.UT Dallas (1)1829-5 (7-4)
4.East Texas Baptist16214-8 (7-5)
5.Ozarks15910-3 (7-3)
6.LeTourneau1357-4 (5-3)
7.Concordia Texas1135-6 (4-6)
8.Sul Ross State1119-12 (7-8)
9.McMurry774-15 (4-11)
10.Belhaven564-13 (2-12)
11.Howard Payne240-18 (0-14)

Additionally, three Crusaders were named to the Preseason Watch List. 

Last season’s leading scorer (29.3 PPG), and the No. 3 scorer in the nation, Josiah Johnson was named to the Watch List after an outstanding sophomore season in 2020-21. The guard was the ASC Male Athlete of the Year, a D3hoops.com First-Team All-American, and the ASC West Division Player of the Year, leading the Cru in multiple stat categories. 

Forward Ty Prince, last year’s ASC West Division Newcomer of the Year, is also on the Watch List, after averaging 17.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in his first season in Belton. He was a D3hoops.com All-West Region selection and tallied two triple-doubles. 

Belton native Carson Hammond is the third member of the Cru on the Watch List, as he proved to be a reliable sharpshooter for UMHB a year ago. Hammond, entering his senior season, played in all 20 games, averaging 11.6 points per game. The guard/wing dished out 81 assists last season, his first with UMHB. 

UMHB is set to tip-off its 2021-22 campaign on Nov. 9, hosting Southwestern in Belton at 7 p.m. CT.

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