Mays, Konkol headline All-Louisiana men’s college hoops teams

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Skylar Mays

Fifteen schools represented on 18-player team

LAFAYETTE – Led by Player of the Year Skylar Mays, LSU was one of 15 schools represented on the 2020 Louisiana Sports Writers Association Men’s College Basketball Team, announced by the organization on Tuesday.

The 18-member team was selected by a statewide panel of the men’s basketball sports information directors and media members.

LSU, which placed a state-best three players on the team, claimed two of the four specialty awards with Mays earning Player of the Year honors and Trendon Watford selected as LSWA Freshman of the Year. Louisiana’s Jalen Johnson, a Baton Rouge native and transfer from Saint Louis, was picked as Newcomer of the Year with Louisiana Tech’s Eric Konkol earning Coach of the Year honors.

Mays, a senior from Baton Rouge, added another accolade to an impressive 2019-20 resume after earning first-team All-SEC honors along being named as a CoSIDA Academic All-America and the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Mays averaged a career-best 16.7 points per game to lead the Tigers while grabbing 5.0 rebounds with 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game.

The guard, who finished in the top-10 in the SEC in scoring, field goal percentage (.491), free throw percentage (.854) and steals, led LSU to back-to-back 20-win seasons for just the third time in the past 27 seasons and had six games with 19 or more points in the Tigers’ last nine contests.

Konkol, the first Bulldog coach to claim LSWA Men’s Coach of the Year honors since Kerry Rupp in 2010, led Louisiana Tech to a 22-8 overall record, the most wins among both Conference USA and in-state Division I schools.

Under Konkol’s guidance, the Bulldogs, went 15-1 at home, finished second overall in C-USA with 13-5 conference mark, and was one of eight teams nationally to rank in the top-40 in both field goal percentage and field goal defense.

Johnson, a second-team selection who prepped at Baton Rouge’s University Lab, finished as the top newcomer in the Sun Belt Conference in scoring after averaging a team-high 15.5 points per game. The junior led the Ragin’ Cajuns in rebounds (6.6) and ranked among the Sun Belt Conference leaders in scoring, rebounds, free throw percentage (.829), field goal percentage (.428) and minutes played per game (33.9).

Johnson reached double figures in scoring in 28 of Louisiana’s 33 games, including 20 or more points in nine contests. Johnson scored a career-high 27 points in a win over ULM on Jan. 25 and opened the season with three straight 20-point games.

Watford, a second-team selection, claimed Freshman of the Year honors for LSU after averaging 13.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists. The Birmingham, Ala., native and member of the SEC Freshman Team reached double figures in scoring in 25 games for the Tigers and ranked in the top-10 in the SEC in both rebounds and field goal percentage (.489).

He averaged 13.8 points and 8.1 rebounds in SEC play and scored a season-high 26 points at Vanderbilt on Feb. 5.

Mays was joined on the first team by Louisiana Tech guard DaQuan Bracey, Cedric Harris of Centenary College, Sha’Markus Kennedy of McNeese and New Orleans’ Bryson Robinson.

Joining Johnson and Watford on the second team was Malik Amos of Dillard, Michael Ertel of ULM and William Loyd of Xavier.

The third team consisted of LSU’s Javonte Smart, Kae’Ron Baker of Louisiana College, Chudier Bile of Northwestern State, Myles Burns of Loyola (N.O.) and Tulane’s Christion Thompson.

Traquan Knight of LSU Shreveport, Grambling’s Ivy Smith, Jr., and Louisiana’s Mylik Wilson were honorable mention selections.

(selected by the state men’s basketball sports information directors and media panel)

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR – Jalen Johnson, Louisiana
COACH OF THE YEAR – Eric Konkol, Louisiana Tech

DaQuan Bracey, Louisiana Tech – G, Sr., Baltimore, Md., 12.9 ppg., 2.9 apg., 1.1 spg.,
Cedric Harris, Centenary – G, Sr., Shreveport, La., 20.2 ppg., 8.7 rpg.
Sha’Markus Kennedy, McNeese – F, Sr., Tuscaloosa, Ala., 18.6 ppg., 10.9 rpg., 2.6 bpg.
Skylar Mays, LSU – G, Sr., Baton Rouge, La., 16.7 ppg., 5.0 rpg., 3.2 rpg.
Bryson Robinson, New Orleans – G, Sr., Mesquite, Texas, 17.9 ppg., 4.1 rpg., 2.6 apg.

Malik Amos, Dillard – G, Jr., Missouri City, Texas, 19.1 ppg., 2.6 rpg.
Michael Ertel, ULM – G, Jr., Indianapolis, Ind., 16.2 ppg., 3.3 rpg., 2.8 apg.
Jalen Johnson, Louisiana – F, Jr., Baton Rouge, La., 15.5 ppg., 6.6 rpg.
William Loyd, Xavier – F, Sr., Baton Rouge, La., 16.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg.
Trendon Watford, LSU – F, Fr., Birmingham, Ala., 13.6 ppg., 7.2 rpg., 1.7 apg.

Kae’Ron Baker, Louisiana College – G, Jr., Navasota, Texas, 19.8 ppg., 5.3 rpg., 3.0 apg.
Chudier Bile, Northwestern State – F, Jr., Denver, Colo., 14.3 ppg., 7.6 rpg.
Myles Burns, Loyola – G/F, Soph., Houston, Texas, 14.1 ppg., 8.0 rpg.
Javonte Smart, LSU – G, Soph., Baton Rouge, La., 12.5 ppg., 3.5 rpg., 4.2 apg.
Christion Thompson, Tulane – G, Sr., Gonzales, La., 14.1 ppg., 6.3 rpg., 2.8 apg.

Traquan Knight, LSU Shreveport; Ivy Smith, Jr., Grambling, Mylik Wilson, Louisiana

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