Tarleton men's basketball is picked to finish third in the annual Lone Star Conference preseason poll as part of Online Basketball Media Day, the league announced Wednesday.
The Texans received 231 votes and three first-place votes. West Texas A&M is picked second with 234 votes, followed by reigning LSC Champion UT Permian Basin picked to repeat with 269 votes, including 19 first-place votes.
The LSC preseason poll is voted on by LSC head coaches, sports information directors and media representatives throughout the league.
"The Lone Star Conference is one of the toughest conferences in the nation with great coaches and great players," said associate head coach Chris Reisman. "It's going to be one of those years where every night you go out, you're going against a great team and if you don't bring your best, you're going to get beat."
The Texans are coming off a 22-8 season where they finished second in the LSC with a 13-5 record. The Texans advanced to their eighth straight NCAA Tournament, but fell in the first round to Fort Lewis, 94-40 in overtime.
Head coach Lonn Reisman, who enters the year with 635 career wins, returns six players from last season's team, including a pair of starters in Deshawn Riddick (9.4 points, 4.2 assists) and LSC Freshman of the Year Anthony Davis (9.9 points, 4.6 rebounds).
Also returning is Josh Hawley (9.3 points, 5.0 rebounds) and Nosa Ebomwonyi (2.8 points, 3.1 rebounds). Riddick and Ebomwonyi are the only seniors on the upcoming roster.
"We have guys that have been in big games in the Lone Star Conference," said Reisman. "Deshawn Riddick and Nosa Ebomwonyi have been in three NCAA tournaments, they've both played in Elite Eight's and the Final Four.
"You take Anthony Davis and Josh Hawley who have been in our program going on their third year and they've done extremely well for us. Plus, we add Ruston Hayward in the mix, who's coming off a redshirt season. Guys that have been in our program are really going to have to shoulder the load for our new guys early on."
Reisman and his staff went out and recruited 12 new players to fill the already experienced roster. The roster additions include two Division I transfers, three junior college transfers, and seven from high school.
"I'm excited about the new guys we are bringing in," said Reisman. "They are guys that can come in and play an important role for us. One guy people are going to notice right away is Corinthian Ramsey (Angelina College) at the point guard. He brings a level of quickness and athleticism that we haven't had since Michael Hardge and Chuck Guy.
"We also have two Division I transfers in Jesse Hill (Florida Atlantic) and Jaraan Lands (Albany), guys we can add to our front line with what we have coming back makes us a deeper team."
Tarleton will open the season with an exhibition game against Texas A&M on Friday, Nov. 3, in College Station. The Texans open the regular season with the annual Texan Tip-Off Classic against Metro State on Friday, Nov. 10, in Wisdom Gym.