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.
Head coach Bob Marlin, who led Louisiana to a school-record 27 wins, earned the state’s Coach of the Year honors for the second time while becoming the first Ragin’ Cajuns coach to win the award twice.
Bartley, the first Ragin’ Cajuns player to earn multiple LSWA individual honors and the sixth player in school history to claim LSWA Player of the Year honors, was joined on the team by second-team selection Bryce Washington and third-team pick JaKeenan Gant.
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.
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.
Washington, a New Orleans native and St. Augustine High product, averaged 10.4 points and 10.5 rebounds while earning first-team All-Sun Belt Conference and NABC All-District honors. The Lou Henson All-America selection finished his career as one of four players in both Ragin’ Cajuns and Sun Belt Conference history to score 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds in a career
The 6-foot-6 forward scored in double figures 18 times with 21 games with double-digit rebounds and 13 double-doubles on the season. He grabbed a season-high 19 boards in SBC opener at Little Rock and finished among the active NCAA leaders in career rebounds (1,102), double-doubles (38), rebound average (8.1), and field goal percentage (.571).
Gant, a 6-8 junior, averaged 13.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and led the Sun Belt Conference with 2.3 blocks per game. The Sun Belt Conference Newcomer and Defensive Player of the Year earned third Team All-Sun Belt Conference honors in his first season with the Ragin’ Cajuns and was a second-team NABC All-District pick.
The transfer from Missouri also led the Sun Belt Conference in both field goal percentage (.553) and had six 20-point games during the season, with career-high 24 coming against Troy. Gant posted back-to-back double-doubles in games against New Orleans and Southeastern Louisiana and was one of four Division I players nationally to average 13.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks while shooting 55 percent from the floor.
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).
Joining Bartley, Peters and Waters on the first team were Tulane’s Melvin Frazier and Stevie Clark of LSU Shreveport.
Washington was joined on the second team by Jacobi Boykins of Louisiana Tech, Grambling’s Ivy Smith, Jr., Marlain Veal of Southeastern Louisiana and Jordin Williams of NAIA national runner-up, LSU Alexandria.
Gant was joined on the third team by Centenary’s Travion Kirkendoll, Brandon Moss of LSU Alexandria, Travis Munnings of ULM and Joshua Simmons of Dillard.
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
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
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
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
Nick Parker, Loyola (N.O.); Tevon Saddler, Nicholls; Jared Sam, Southern
RAGIN’ CAJUNS TO EARN LSWA PLAYER OF THE YEAR HONORS
Dwight “Bo” Lamar – 1972, 1973
Andrew Toney – 1980
Michael Allen – 1994
Tyren Johnson – 2010
Elfrid Payton – 2014
Frank Bartley – 2018
RAGIN’ CAJUNS TO EARN LSWA COACH OF THE YEAR HONORS
Beryl Shipley – 1972
Jim Hatfield – 1977
Bobby Paschal – 1980
Marty Fletcher – 1994
Bob Marlin – 2014, 2018