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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Lowe's Senior CLASS, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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HBU's Josh Ibarra named Preseason All-Southland Conference

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"He has terrific footwork; and, he has, if not the best hands of a guy that I ever coached, the second best" Cottrell said.

October 9, 2018

After having his senior season in 2017-18 cut short due to injury just nine games in, HBU center Josh Ibarra is back for a redshirt senior year and has been selected to the Preseason All-Southland Conference Second Team by the league's head coaches for the 2018-2019 season.

In this interview with The HRR, HBU Head Coach Ron Cottrell compared Ibarra's hands and footwork to skilled big Oliver Miller when Cottrell was part of the Arkansas coaching staff that coached Miller.

"He has terrific footwork; and, he has, if not the best hands of a guy that I ever coached, the second best" Cottrell said. "And, the only other one I think that comes close to rivaling him is Oliver Miller as far as terrific hands, and IQ and eyesight. They are very much a like in that regard."

This marks the second-consecutive season Ibarra has been named to the preseason second team after earning second team All-SLC honors for the 2016-17 season, his junior year. Ibarra was on a tear last season, averaging 17.8 points and 11.3 rebounds per game with a 31-point performance and a pair of 17-rebound games before suffering a season-ending injury a minute into the Huskies' game at UTSA.

In nine games last year, the senior averaged a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds per game while shooting 55.2 percent from the floor. He also averaged more than 2.5 assists per game and recorded 15 blocked shots.

Ibarra was the top vote-getter in balloting of the SLC's head coaches with the five first team selections all automatically earning their spots by virtue of being named all-conference at the end of last season.

The Huskies will open the 2018-19 season on Wednesday, November 7, when they visit Arizona in Tucson, AZ, with an 8:00 p.m. (Central Time) tip-off on the Pac-12 Network.

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