Cajuns Ranked 12th In CollegeInsider.com

BOSTON – Coming off two straight postseason appearances and picked to capture the Sun Belt Conference title, the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns men's basketball team was ranked 12th in the 2015-16 CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll that was released on Tuesday.

Now in its 17th year of existence, the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll is made up of teams from the America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern Athletic, Summit, Sun Belt, West Coast and Western Athletic conferences.

Louisiana, which finished 22-14 last season and advanced to the quarterfinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, returns nine letterwinners and five starters for sixth-year head coach Bob Marlin.

Highlighted by Sun Belt Preseason Player of the Year Shawn Long, the Ragin' Cajuns have earned a trip to the postseason in three of the past four seasons, including a 2014 appearance in the NCAA Championships.

Long, who is the NCAA's active leader in double-doubles (52) and is one of three players in school history to record 1,000 rebounds, averaged 16.4 points and 10.2 rebounds last season for the Ragin' Cajuns. The 6-foot-11 senior enters the season 29 rebounds shy of surpassing Roy Ebron as the school's all-time leading rebounder and is 300 points shy of becoming the sixth player in school history to record 2,000 points in a career.

Junior point Jay Wright, a preseason third-team All-Sun Belt selection, returns for Louisiana after averaging 9.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists in his inaugural season. Wright was rated as one of the top on-ball defenders in the Sun Belt Conference and was a finalist for the Lefty Driesell National Defensive Player of the Year award.

Devonta Walker (9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds), Kasey Shepherd (9.7 points, 2.6 rebounds), Bryce Washington (6.4 points, 5.2 rebounds), Hayward Register (6.7 points, 1.6 rebounds), Johnathan Stove (5.4 points, 2.1 rebounds), Steven Wronkoski (2.6 points, 1.7 rebounds) and Tiremone Williams (0.9 points, 0.7 rebounds) all return from a team that averaged a league-best 77.5 points per game while shooting a league-best 36 percent from behind the 3-point line.

Newcomers to the Ragin' Cajuns for the 2015-16 season include redshirt freshman Scott Plaisance, junior college transfers Tyrone Wooten and Jay Hedgeman, freshmen Jerekius Davis, Kadavion Evans and Garrett Capps, a pair of transfers - Frank Bartley IV (BYU) and Jacob Broussard (Centenary) – and senior Matt Marlin.

As a team, the Ragin' Cajuns led the Sun Belt Conference in rebound margin (+6.4) and assists (14.7) while finishing second in the league in field goal percentage (45.9 percent) and blocked shots (4.0).

Louisiana will host Mississippi College on Monday, Nov. 9, in a 7:15 p.m. exhibition game at the Cajundome before opening the season on Friday, Nov. 13, against Louisiana College. The Ragin' Cajuns will play 16 games in the Cajundome and will face a non-conference schedule that featured trips to Miami, Alabama, Louisiana Tech, UCLA and Pepperdine (ranked No. 20 in the Mid-Major poll).

Season tickets are available by visiting the Cajundome Box Office, calling at (337) 265-2357 and visiting on-line at RaginCajuns.com.

CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll

School (First-place votes) • Points • Conference

1. Wichita State (21) • 764 • Missouri Valley

2. Gonzaga (9) • 751 • West Coast

3. Valparaiso (1) • 638 • Horizon

4. Stephen F. Austin • 579 • Southland

5. BYU • 561 • West Coast

6. Iona • 549 • Metro Atlantic

7. Northern Iowa • 537 • Missouri Valley

8. Belmont • 504 • Ohio Valley

9. Evansville • 388 • Missouri Valley

10. Central Michigan • 369 • Mid-American

11. Yale • 254 • Ivy League

12. Louisiana • 242 • Sun Belt

13. North Florida • 239 • Atlantic Sun

14. Oakland • 238 • Horizon

15. Illinois State • 236 • Missouri Valley

16. Akron • 222 • Mid-American

17. Montana • 221 • Big Sky

18. UC Irvine • 219 • Big West

19. Harvard • 201 • Ivy League

20. Pepperdine • 187 • West Coast

21. Western Michigan • 180 • Mid-American

22. Hofstra • 160 • Colonial

23. Saint Mary's • 149 • West Coast

24. NJIT • 148 • Atlantic Sun

25. Bucknell • 116 • Patriot


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