ST. LOUIS – – Belmont University men’s basketball has been picked fifth as the Missouri Valley Conference released its 2023-24 preseason poll and all-conference teams Wednesday.
Sophomore Cade Tyson was named Preseason First Team All-MVC.
“Preseason polls are fun and provide interesting feedback for how others view your team,” said Belmont head coach Casey Alexander. “The Missouri Valley Conference is a league with tremendous history and national reputation. It presents us with great competition and we clearly have work to do if we want to be the best team.”
Belmont finished in third place in its inaugural MVC season, winning 14 conference games – the most for any program in the nation in its debut conference season since 2015.
Among the season highlights, the Bruins swept eventual regular season champion Bradley and 2022 regular season champion Northern Iowa as Ben Sheppard took home all-conference and all-defensive team honors.
Tyson averaged 13.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game on 49/42/86 shooting splits as he was named 2023 MVC Freshman of the Year and MVC All-Newcomer Team.
The Monroe, North Carolina native posted 25 double figure scoring games, including 12 games of 15 or more points.
His electrifying college debut – 18 points including the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to defeat Ohio – earned him top honors in ESPN SCTop10 plays.
He scored a season-high 24 points vs. Indiana State.
Tyson was a finalist for the Kyle Macy National Freshman of the Year Award.
He becomes just the third sophomore in the last five seasons named Preseason First Team All-MVC (AJ Green, Tucker DeVries).
“I’m excited for Cade,” Alexander added. “Being named MVC Freshman of the Year last season was a well-deserved honor. He’s worked extremely hard to build upon that foundation.”
Belmont has finished Top 3 in conference standings 18 consecutive seasons (12 regular season conference championships, five second-place finishes, one third-place finish).
Drake was selected as the preseason favorite, earning first-place votes on 24 of 47 ballots of head coaches, sports information directors and media.
Northern Iowa, Bradley, Indiana State and Belmont rounded out the top five.
Tucker DeVries of Drake was tabbed MVC Preseason Player of the Year.
In total, Belmont will play 13 games against teams with Q1/Q2 rankings from the 2023 NET rankings.
Belmont’s 98 victories since the start of the 2019-20 season rank ninth nationally.
Belmont season tickets, Puckett’s flex packs and single-game tickets are on sale now at belmontbruins.com/tickets.
To become a Bruin Club member, contact Russell Grimm at (615) 460-5668 or [email protected].
Belmont University men’s basketball has been a postseason fixture the last two decades, including nine berths to the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins have won 20 conference championships since 2006 – third-most nationally over that span (Gonzaga, Kansas). Belmont has won 20 or more games in 13 consecutive seasons (Gonzaga, Kansas, Oregon) and 19 or game games in 18 consecutive seasons (Gonzaga, Kansas, San Diego State). Belmont is among select programs with two or more first-round selections in the NBA Draft over the last five years (Ben Sheppard, Dylan Windler). Belmont University men’s basketball boasts an NCAA-leading 19 CoSIDA Academic All-America selections since 2001 and is the only NCAA Division I program to make the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) Honor Roll every year of existence