UT Arlington Mavericks Take Home Top Sun Belt Conference Honors
By UT Arlington Athletics Department
Posted on March 06, 2017, March 06, 2017


Photo courtesy: www.utamavs.com

The Sun Belt Conference champion UTA men's basketball program claimed the league's top two honors today as the conference player and coach of the year each reside in Arlington.

Junior forward Kevin Hervey was named the Sun Belt Player of the Year, while 11th year coach Scott Cross was selected as the Joe Gottfried Coach of the Year in a ballot of league coaches.

Hervey also earned first team all-conference honors, while junior guard Erick Neal was named to the second-team after leading the Sun Belt and ranking among the top 10 nationally in assists.

Last weekend, UTA clinched its first ever Sun Belt title and the third regular season championship in program history. The Mavericks enter this week's Sun Belt Championships as the tournament's top seed and received a first round bye. UTA will face the winner of No. 8 Coastal Carolina and No. 9 South Alabama in Friday's 11:30 a.m. quarterfinal.

Each game of the Sun Belt Championships will be streamed live online via ESPN3 with the final televised live on ESPN2. A live radio broadcast will be available throughout the Metroplex on KEXB 620 AM and online at UTAMavs.com. UTA sold out of its ticket allotment for the tournament. However, tournament packages and single session tickets will be available at Lakefront Arena throughout the event.

Hervey, an Arlington native, recovered from last season's severe knee injury to average 17.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. He registered 14 double doubles in his 23 appearances and ended the regular season Saturday with a career-high 34-point outburst at Louisiana.

Cross, the 2012 Southland Conference Coach of the Year has an association with UTA that spans 22 seasons. He played for Coach Eddie McCarter from 1996-98, served as assistant immediately upon graduation and has been the Mavericks' head coach since taking over for McCarter on April 21, 2006.

A native of Garland, Cross secured his 200th win on Feb. 27 -the same night the Mavericks clinched a share of the Sun Belt title. He is the second-longest tenured NCAA Division I head coach in the state of Texas and has the most wins and highest winning percentage of any coach in program history.

Neal, a native of Dallas, was a first team all-league selection as a sophomore and currently ranks among the top 10 nationally in assists He has moved into third on the program's list for career assists and is among the top 10 in career 3-point shooting and steals. Neal earned national recognition as the mid-major player of the week by several publications in early December, then gained notoriety last month when he drained a game-winning 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining at Georgia State.

First Team All-Sun Belt
Tookie Brown (Georgia Southern, Sophomore, G, Sport Management)
Ike Smith (Georgia Southern, Sophomore, G, Sport Management)
Kevin Hervey (UTA, Junior, F, Interdisciplinary Studies)
Kavin Gilder-Tilbury (Texas State, Senior, F, General Studies)
Jordon Varnado (Troy, Sophomore, F)

Second Team All-Sun Belt
Devin Carter (Arkansas State, RS Senior, G, Interdisciplinary Studies)
Jeremy Hollowell (Georgia State, Senior, F, Interdisciplinary Studies)
Bryce Washington (Louisiana, Junior, F, Accounting)
Jay Wright (Louisiana, Senior, G, General Studies)
Erick Neal (UTA, Junior, G, Broadcast Communications)

Third Team All-Sun Belt
Ronshad Shabazz (Appalachian State, Sophomore, G, Undecided)
Jaylen Shaw (Coastal Carolina, Junior, G)
D'Marcus Simonds (Georgia State, Freshman, G, Undecided)
Frank Bartley IV (Louisiana, Junior, G, Sociology)
Wesley Person (Troy, Junior, G, Global Business)

Player of the Year
Kevin Hervey (UTA, Junior, F, Interdisciplinary Studies)

Joe Gottfried Coach of the Year
Scott Cross, UTA

Defensive Player of the Year
Jay Wright (Louisiana, Senior, G, General Studies)

Freshman of the Year
D'Marcus Simonds (Georgia State, Freshman, G, Undecided)

Newcomer of the Year
Frank Bartley IV (Louisiana, Junior, G, Sociology)

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