NAIA 2nd-team All-America for Loyd, honorable mention again for Mart

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana’s William Loyd was named Thursday to the 2019-20 NAIA Division I All-America men’s basketball second team, and teammate Rayshawn Mart earned honorable mention for the second consecutive year.

Although Loyd and Mart represent the 26th and 27th All-America honors in the program’s history, Loyd is just the second Gold Rush athlete to be named to the second team of higher. The other was Bruce Seals, who as a sophomore in 1972-73 made the first team.

“Wow, that’s pretty cool,” said Loyd, a 6-foot-5 senior forward from Baton Rouge, La., and a graduate of Madison Prep. “First of all, as usual, give God all the glory for this honor. I’m amazed. I’m thankful for being able to play the past two seasons at Xavier. I’m grateful for the fans, the staff, the faculty and the students.

“I’m also grateful to my parents and my family for supporting me and my decisions.”

Loyd transferred to XULA after two seasons at NCAA Division II Spring Hill and quickly became one of the team’s best and most reliable players. This past season he averaged 16.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game and shot 57.7 percent from the floor and 71.7 percent from the line. Loyd was first-team All-Gulf Coast Athletic Conference and MVP of the GCAC Tournament, which the Gold Rush won for the first time since 1996.

Loyd finished 2019-20 with 545 points and 252 rebounds, making him the sixth Gold Rush player to reach 500 points and 250 rebounds and the first since since Merlin Peters in 1989-90. The others on that list are Alex Williams in 1986-87, Rodolfo Gill in 1983-84, Seals in 1972-73 and Norman Zanders in 1969-70.

Mart, a 6-3 junior guard from Houma, La., and a graduate of H.L. Bourgeois High School, also finished the season with 545 points and 16.5 points per game. He averaged 5.1 rebounds. Mart became the first in Gold Rush history to reach 500 points, 150 rebounds, 25 made 3-pointers, 70 assists, 50 steals and shoot 50 percent from the floor and 70 percent from the line in the same season.

In four seasons under head coach Alfred Williams, XULA has received six All-America citations. The other three were honorable mentions for Jalen David and Virgil Davison in 2017-18 and Loyd in 2018-19.

The Gold Rush finished 27-6 and also won the GCAC regular-season championship. XULA ranked 10th in the final coaches
poll and qualified for the NAIA’s national tournament for the second time in three years and the 12th time in the past 16 seasons.

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