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Mary Hardin-Baylor, Texas-Dallas Favorites in American Southwest Conference

October 20, 2010
By cnp
Posted in Athletics

RICHARDSON, Texas-The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and the University of Texas at Dallas men's basketball teams have been predicted to repeat their American Southwest Conference West and East Division titles, respectively, after a vote of each division's head coaches, sports information directors and media members, the conference office announced on Wednesday (Oct. 20).

Defending ASC champion Mary Hardin-Baylor (22-7, 17-4 ASC), which also won the 2008 crown and has advanced to the NCAA tournament three out of the last four seasons, totaled 182 points and earned 21 of the possible 24 first-place votes to be the favorites in the annual poll. Head coach Ken DeWeese’s Cru averaged 78.5 points per game last year and won at least 17 games for the seventh straight season.

Concordia University Texas (16-10, 14-7 ASC) was predicted for a second place finish with 155 points and two top-spot votes. Three-time ASC champion McMurry University (17-9, 14-6 ASC) received 151 points to land in the third position. Sul Ross State University (9-17, 8-13 ASC) totaled 108 points to round out what would be the division’s four teams to qualify for the ASC Championship Tournament. Hardin-Simmons University (99 pts.) was picked fifth, followed by Howard Payne (78 pts.), Texas Lutheran University (53 pts.) and Schreiner University (38 pts.). HSU picked up the final first-place vote.

Texas-Dallas, which went 24-6 overall and 18-2 in league play last season on its way to a second straight division title and an appearance in the “Sweet 16” of the NCAA Division III Championship, totaled 144 points and picked up 19 of the possible 21 first-place votes. Head coach Terry Butterfield’s two-time ASC champion Comets reached the conference title game last season and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the second straight year. They led the league in scoring defense (66.8), free throw percentage (75.5), field goal percentage (48.3) and assists (502).

Six-time ASC champion Mississippi College (19-7, 14-6 ASC) was picked to finish second in the East, totaling 124 points and one top-spot vote. East Texas Baptist (15-12, 12-8 ASC) garnered 104 points and the final first-place vote to land in the third-place spot. The University of Texas at Tyler (15-11, 11-9 ASC) totaled 81 points to round out what would be the East Division’s four ASC tournament teams. The University of the Ozarks (50 pts.) was predicted to finish fifth, followed by LeTourneau University (47 pts.) and Louisiana College (38 pts.).

Howard Payne University’s Brandon Irwin and East Texas Baptist University’s Josh Chambers earned 2010-11 preseason player of the year honors. Irwin (Thorndale, TX / THS), a 6-2 junior guard, averaged 18.5 points and 1.6 steals per game last season. He also ranked in the league’s top 10 in free throw percentage (80.6), 3-point percentage (42.1) and minutes played per game (33.7).
Chambers (Mexia, TX / MHS), a 6-7 senior forward, averaged 9.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game in 2009-10. He led the league with 66 blocked shots over 26 games – 17 more stuffs than any other player in the conference. Irwin was a member of the West Division’s first team, while Chambers was a third-team pick in the East. Chambers was also the defensive player of the year in the East.

The 2010-11 season – the 15th in league history – begins as early as November 15. The three-day, eight-team, single-elimination conference tournament is slated for February 26-28 at the site of the East Division’s top seed and an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship will be on the line.

[Voted on by ASC Head Coaches, Sports Information Directors and Media Members]

Team (first-place votes) Points 2009-10 Record
1. Mary Hardin-Baylor (21) 182 22-7, 17-4 ASC
2. Concordia Texas (2) 155 16-10, 14-7 ASC
3. McMurry 151 17-9, 14-6 ASC
4. Sul Ross State 108 9-17, 8-13 ASC
5. Hardin-Simmons (1) 99 7-18, 7-14 ASC
6. Howard Payne 78 6-19, 6-15 ASC
7. Texas Lutheran 53 6-19, 4-17 ASC
8. Schreiner 38 5-19, 5-15 ASC

Team (first-place votes) Points 2009-10 Record
1. Texas-Dallas (19) 144 24-6, 18-2 ASC
2. Mississippi College (1) 124 19-7, 14-6 ASC
3. East Texas Baptist (1) 104 15-12, 12-8 ASC
4. Texas-Tyler 81 15-11, 11-9 ASC
5. Ozarks 50 8-16, 6-13 ASC
6. LeTourneau 47 10-15, 9-11 ASC
7. Louisiana College 38 9-15, 7-12 ASC

[Voted on by ASC Head Coaches, Sports Information Directors and Media Members]

Brandon Irwin, G, Jr., Howard Payne

Josh Chambers, F, Sr., East Texas Baptist