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Monday, October 29, 2012
ESPN.com's Sun Belt basketball preview

By ESPN.com staff

Before getting to the Blue Ribbon team-by-team previews for the Sun Belt, read Dana O'Neil's profile of new Florida International coach Richard Pitino, Myron Medcalf's look at North Texas' nonconference schedule and Western Kentucky's place in ESPN.com's 50 in 50 series.

Blue Ribbon's in-depth previews of all 11 Sun Belt teams: Insider

Arkansas-Little Rock

Arkansas State

Florida Atlantic Insider Free

Florida International

Louisiana-Monroe

Louisiana-Lafayette

Middle Tennessee

North Texas

South Alabama

Troy

Western Kentucky



As for an added bonus, ESPN.com's Eamonn Brennan picked the top 10 national rebounders heading into the season, and North Texas' Tony Mitchell made the list. His take:

7. Tony Mitchell, North Texas: The former Missouri signee is the kind of talent you don't often see in the Sun Belt, and his rebounding numbers back it up. He averaged 10.3 rebounds per game, and notched the fourth-highest defensive rebounding rate in the country (28.8 percent). He wasn't quite as effective on the offensive end -- he barely missed the 10 percent mark in offensive rebound rate, at 9.6 -- but that is also a byproduct of being the primary focus of the Mean Green offense. Mitchell has already proven his bona fides; the next step is a truly dominant season.