University of Central Arkansas guard LaQuentin Miles was named a first-team All-Southland Conference selection on Thursday when the league announced its preseason polls and teams.
Miles, a 6-foot-5 junior from Jacksonville, was on the first team along with Stephen F. Austin’s Antonio Bostic and Taylor Smith, Northwestern State’s Shamir Davis and Southeastern Louisiana’s Brandon Fortenberry.
The Bears, under third-year head coach Corliss Williamson, were tied for eighth in the coaches’ preseason poll and ninth in the poll of sports information directors.
Miles led the Bears in scoring last season at 14.9 points per game, fourth in the SLC. He led the conference in steals with 57 and was third in offensive rebounds at 3.1 per game. Miles scored in double figures 19 times last season and topped the 20-point mark seven times. He also finished in the Top 15 in the SLC in field-goal percentage at 47.8 percent.
"He had a pretty decent year last year, making third-team all-conference," said Williamson. "I think that probably inspired him to work even harder in the off-season. Of course, it’s a preseason award, and it’s an honor, but I’d definitely like to see him come back and be even better than he was last year, especially on the defensive end of the court.
"We’re pleased he was on the team and we’re really looking forward to seeing him get even better this season."
League newcomer Oral Roberts, which finished 27-7 a year ago, was picked in both polls to win the title, followed by Stephen F. Austin. ORU received seven first-place votes from the coaches and six from the sports information directors.
"We definitely feel like we’ve gotten better as a team," said Williamson, who brought in six newcomers to go with eight returnees. "Of course, we have to prove that on the court. So hopefully that will motivate our guys. We don’t want to disrespect any other teams, but we feel like we’re better than we were last year.
"We’re definitely looking forward to making the improvements we need to on the court and hopefully moving up in the conference.’ The Bears open their season at Arizona State on Nov. 10, before playing three consecutive home games against Hendrix College (Nov. 13), Arkansas State (Nov. 21) and Sacramento State (Nov. 24).