Zay Williams earns preseason All-Sun Belt

Published 8:35 am Wednesday, October 19, 2022

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On Tuesday, the Sun Belt Conference released its preseason awards ahead of the men’s basketball season and Troy senior Zay Williams earned All-Sun Belt honors.

Williams is coming off a 2021-2022 season in which he averaged 7.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and one assist per game. The 6-foot-9-inch forward led Troy in three-point shooting, as well, knocking down 41.5 percent of his attempts. Williams goes into the 2022-2023 season ranked fifth all time in rebounds and seventh in blocked shots, and was named Preseason Third-Team All-Sun Belt.

The Sun Belt also released its Preseason Coaches’ Poll, voted on by the league’s coaches, with Troy finishing in 10th place in the poll. Louisiana is ranked in first place with Texas State, South Alabama, James Madison, Georgia State, Marshall, Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Old Dominion, Troy, Georgia Southern, Arkansas State, Southern Miss and ULM ranked behind them. Louisiana earned 10 first place votes with Texas State, South Alabama, James Madison and Georgia State each earning one first place vote.

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Troy comes into the 22-23 season with a lot of new faces after losing seven players from last season’s team. While Nick Stampley and Khalyl Waters – both playing professionally – graduated, Troy also lost Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year Efie Odigie (SMU), Desmond Williams (UT-Martin), Rifen Miguel (UT-Martin), Duke Deen (Bradley University), Jakevan Leftridge and TK Smith to the transfer portal.

Troy replenished its roster with a crop of incoming transfers and freshmen. Troy added players like Darius McNeill (UTSA), Aamer Muhammad (Lubbock Christian) and Nelson Phillips (Georgia State) from the transfer portal. The Trojans also added incoming freshmen Jackson Fields, Randi Ovalle, Andre Young and Remy Graham to the roster, as well. Those newcomers join veterans like Kieffer Punter, Duke Miles, Christyon Eugene, Williams and Christian Turner.

The Trojans jumpstart the 22-23 season on Nov. 7 at home against Montevallo at 7 p.m. and will play against schools like Arkansas, San Diego State and Florida State in the first month of the season.