Solomon Bozeman provided the lasting memory of last season's Sun Belt Conference tournament.
The Trojans (15-15) shocked the field last season, winning the tournament and earning the school's first NCAA tournament appearance in 21 years. They did so as a No. 5 seed and it was Bozeman, the league's player of the year, who sank a deep 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds remaining to lift UALR past North Texas 64-63.
Bozeman graduated after last season, along with four other seniors for the Trojans.
The remaining teammates hope to build on that memory and last year's success at this season's conference tournament, which begins Saturday in Hot Springs, Ark. The women's league tournament is held at the same time in the same town.
The Trojans rebounded from a difficult early nonconference schedule this season to post a 12-4 Sun Belt record and earn the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye at the tournament.
Coach Steve Shields hopes those who were a part of last season's championship run can apply what they learned this time around.
''There will be nerves on Sunday night, butterflies,'' Shields said. ''You hope that we can take those experiences and they pay dividends for us in the tournament. We're really a different team, relatively a new team. Hopefully some of these older guys can lead from that standpoint.''
The Trojans secured the Sun Belt's West Division title with a 62-60 win over rival Arkansas State last week. Senior D'Andre Williams scored 18 points and Courtney Jackson added 12 as UALR completed a remarkable turnaround after compiling a 3-11 nonconference record.
''I think that speaks to the character of this team and the lack of panic in maintaining their poise,'' Shields said. ''The only thing that mattered were the people in that room, that was our approach. We just stayed together and everything on the exterior didn't matter.''
Part of the reason for the early struggles was the turnover from last season. The Trojans lost their top three scorers, including Bozeman.