One of the best basketball players in the country will be coming back next season for UT Arlington.
That was confirmed Wednesday when the Associated Press announced its All-America teams, with forward Kevin Hervey picking up honorable mention recognition. The junior made his intentions to return to UTA for his senior season known following the Mavericks’ season-ending 80-76 loss to Cal State Bakersfield last week in the NIT quarterfinals.
He was one of the key cogs in the Mavs’ deepest postseason run and winningest season (27-9) in program history, but said much of the motivation to stay in school one more year was to make the NCAA Tournament.
Hervey averaged 17.1 points and 8.5 rebounds this year, despite playing somewhat limited minutes during the nonconference portion of UTA’s schedule, due to lingering effects from a torn ACL in his left knee that forced him to miss the final 19 games of his sophomore season. He was averaging 18.1 points and 9.8 boards as a sophomore before the injury.
Hervey is just the second UTA player (Marquez Haynes, 2010) to be named an AP All-American, and just the third Sun Belt Conference player given the honor since 2012. The Arlington native and Arlington Bowie graduate was also named conference player of the year and earned all-district honors from both the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the U.S. Basketball Writers Associations this season.
“[Hervey] is very deserving of the recognition he has received this year,” UTA coach Scott Cross said. “He has a tremendous upside, and is only going to get better. I think the honors he recieved this year are only the tip of the iceberg.”
When Cross says words like “upside” and “tip of the iceberg” relating to Hervey, he primarily means on the glass. He said after the season that Hervey still has more to offer on the boards and “could lead the country in rebounding if he decides that’s what he wants to do.”
After three seasons at UTA, Hervey is 15th on the program’s list for career scoring (1,107) and 10th in rebounding (639).
Hervey was one of four players from Texas schools named AP All-Americans. Baylor forward Johnathan Motley (17.3 points, 9.9 rebounds per game) was named to the second team, while SMU forward Semi Ojeleye (19 points, 6.9 rebounds) and Texas Southern guard Zach Lofton (16.8 points, 3,9 rebounds, 2.5 assists) were also given honorable mention nods.
Matthew Martinez; 817-390-7667; @MCTinez817