Loyd chosen for NAIA All-Star Game March 24

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana’s William Loyd is one of 30 seniors chosen for the 2020 NAIA Men’s Basketball All-Star Game.

The NAIA announced Thursday the players for the game, which will tip off at 6 p.m. March 24 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. — the same date and venue as the NAIA Division I men’s national championship game.

Any player whose team is playing in the title game will be excused from the all-star contest.

“You know we’re hoping that Will can miss that all-star game,” said XULA head coach Alfred Williams, whose team is 25-6, won the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference’s regular-season championship and is ranked 15th nationally. “But seriously, it’s a great honor for Will to be selected. He’ll do a great job representing himself and Xavier if he gets the opportunity to play.”

Loyd — a 6-foot-5 forward from Baton Rouge, La., and a graduate of Madison Prep — is averaging 16.1 points and 7.5 rebounds and shooting 56.8 percent from the floor through 31 games. On Wednesday he was named first-team All-GCAC and to the GCAC All-Defensive team.

“Because he made All-GCAC and the all-defensive team, it’s pretty obvious that Will is effective on both ends of the floor,” Williams said. “He’s also made great improvement this season in his outside shooting and in staying on the floor. He’s fouled out only once this season — that’s been huge for us.”

Loyd will play for the NAIA East All-Stars and be led by retiring Pikeville coach Kelly Wells. Both all-star teams will be a mix of players from NAIA divisions I and II.

XULA and city rival Dillard will meet at 7 p.m. Saturday at XULA’s Convocation Center in the semifinals of the GCAC Tournament.

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