Ragin’ Cajuns Bartley, Marlin highlight LSWA Men’s College Basketball Team

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Written for the LSWA

LAFAYETTE – Following in the footsteps of former Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns basketball legends and former LSWA Player of the Year recipients Dwight “Bo” Lamar and Andrew Toney, senior guard Frank Bartley earned Player of the Year honors as the 2017-18 Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA) Men’s College Basketball Team was released on Saturday.

A statewide panel of media members and basketball sports information directors chose the 18-player squad.

LSU point guard Tremont Waters was the overwhelming choice as the state’s Freshman of the Year with Roddy Peters of Nicholls the overwhelming choice for Newcomer of the Year. Bob Marlin, who guided Louisiana to a school-record 27 wins, was named the state’s Coach of the Year.

Bartley, who was named the 2017 LSWA Newcomer of the Year, joined Lamar (1972, 1973) and Toney (1980) in earning LSWA Player of the Year honors after helping lead the Ragin’ Cajuns to a 27-7 record and the Sun Belt Conference regular-season title. He led the Ragin’ Cajuns in scoring at 17.8 points per game while recording 4.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.

The Baton Rouge native and BYU transfer earned first-team All-Sun Belt Conference honors for the Ragin’ Cajuns while finishing as the league’s top free-throw shooter averaging 86.0 percent (141-for-164) from the charity line.

The former Christian Life Academy product scored in double figures in his final 32 games during the 2017-18 season for the Ragin’ Cajuns and had 10 games with 20 or more points scored. Bartley became the 47th player in school history to reach the career 1,000-point scoring mark, and was the ninth player in Ragin’ Cajuns history to reach the feat in two years, joining a list that included Lamar, Toney and four-time All-LSWA pick Shawn Long.

Marlin, the 2014 LSWA Coach of the Year, led the Ragin’ Cajuns to a school-record 27 wins and the school’s first outright SBC regular-season title since 1991-92. The Tupelo, Miss., native guided the Ragin’ Cajuns to a school-record 16 victories in SBC play, a 14-1 record at home and the school’s fourth postseason trip in the past five seasons.

Under Marlin’s guidance, the Ragin’ Cajuns led the Sun Belt Conference in scoring offense (83.2) for the sixth consecutive season while leading the league in scoring margin (+12.4), free throw percentage (.761), field goal percentage (464), rebound margin (+6.6), assists (17.4), steals (7.5) and assist-turnover ratio (1.3).

Waters averaged 15.9 points and 6.0 assists per game in his inaugural season for LSU, becoming the first SEC freshman since Kentucky’s John Wall in 2009-10 to average 15.0 points and 5.0 assists per game. The 5-foot-11 point guard shattered Ben Simmons’ freshman record with 198 assists and produced five double-doubles and 10 games with 20 or more points scored, including a season-high 39 against Marquette at the Maui Invitational.

Peters, who played at both Maryland and South Florida before transferring to Nicholls, led the Colonels in scoring at 19.7 points per game while grabbing 5.9 rebounds and dishing out 4.2 assists per game. The Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year and first-team all-league selection had 17 games with 20 or more points during the season for the SLC regular-season co-champions.

Joining Bartley, Peters and Waters on the first team were Tulane’s Melvin Frazier and Stevie Clark of LSU Shreveport.

Named to the second team were Jacobi Boykins of Louisiana Tech, Grambling’s Ivy Smith, Jr., Marlain Veal of Southeastern Louisiana, Bryce Washington of Louisiana and Jordin Williams of NAIA national runner-up, LSU Alexandria.

Sun Belt Conference Newcomer- and Defensive Player of the Year JaKeenan Gant was the third Ragin’ Cajun member named to the squad, earning third-team honors. Centenary’s Travion Kirkendoll, Brandon Moss of LSU Alexandria, Travis Munnings of ULM and Joshua Simmons of Dillard joined the Missouri transfer in rounding out the third team.

2017-18 LOUISIANA SPORTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL TEAM

PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Frank Bartley, Louisiana
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR – Roddy Peters, Nicholls
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR – Tremont Waters, LSU
COACH OF THE YEAR – Bob Marlin, Louisiana

FIRST TEAM
Frank Bartley, Louisiana – 17.8 ppg., 4.3 rpg., 2.6 apg., First-team All-Sun Belt Conference
Stevie Clark, LSU Shreveport – 20.8 ppg., 4.1 rpg., 4.2 apg., RRAC Player/Newcomer of the Year
Melvin Frazier, Tulane – 15.9 ppg., 5.6 rpg., 2.9 apg., Second-team All-American Athletic Conference
Roddy Peters, Nicholls – 19.7 ppg., 5.9 rpg., 4.2 apg., SLC Newcomer of the Year, First-team All-SLC
Tremont Waters, LSU – 15.9 ppg., 6.0 apg., 3.4 rpg., SEC All-Freshman Team

SECOND TEAM
Jacobi Boykins, Louisiana Tech – 14.7 ppg., 4.8 rpg., 1.0 spg., Third-team All-Conference USA
Ivy Smith, Jr., Grambling – 16.7 ppg., 4.5 rpg., 5.0 apg., First-team All-SWAC
Marlain Veal, Southeastern Louisiana – 12.6 ppg; 5.3 rpg; 6.1 apg; First-team All-Southland
Bryce Washington, Louisiana – 10.4 ppg., 10.5 rpg., 2.2 apg., First-team All-Sun Belt Conference
Jordin Williams, LSU Alexandria – 19.8 ppg., 3.6 rpg., 4.1 apg., NAIA First-team All-America

THIRD TEAM
JaKeenan Gant, Louisiana – 13.7 ppg., 5.8 rpg., 2.3 bpg., Sun Belt Conference Newcomer of the Year
Travion Kirkendoll, Centenary – 22.2 ppg., 5.0 rpg., 3.4 apg., First-team All-SCAC
Brandon Moss, LSU Alexandria – 17.1 ppg., 8.0 rpg., 2.5 apg., NAIA Second-team All-America
Travis Munnings, ULM – 15.9 ppg., 7.3 rpg., 2.4 apg., Second-team All-Sun Belt Conference
Joshua Simmons, Dillard – 17.4 ppg., 12.0 rpg., 3.9 apg., First-team All-Gulf Coast Athletic Conference

HONORABLE MENTION
Nick Parker, Loyola (N.O.); Tevon Saddler, Nicholls; Jared Sam, Southern

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