LAFAYETTE (KATC) – Louisiana’s JaKeenan Gant picked up his first career weekly honors on Monday after he was selected as the Sun Belt Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week as voted on by the league’s head coaches.
Gant, a 6-foot-8 senior from Springfield, Ga., continued his torrid start to Sun Belt Conference play by helping Louisiana (11-6, 2-2 SBC) earn a split during its two-game trip to Georgia.
The weekly honor was the first for a Ragin’ Cajun since Frank Bartley shared the award on Nov. 28, 2017.
In two games last week, Gant averaged 29.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 2.5 steals in his return to his native state while posting double-doubles in both contests extending his season-total to six and his active streak to three. He went 23-for-38 (60.5 percent) from the floor, 4-for-8 from behind the 3-point line and 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
Gant opened the week with a 36-point, 11-rebound contest at Georgia State, going 14-for-21 from the floor. He concluded the week at Georgia Southern, playing a half-hour from his hometown, and scored 22 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out a career-high five assists and blocked five shots – including one in the final seconds – as Louisiana claimed an 87-85 thriller.
On the season, Gant is fourth in the Sun Belt Conference in scoring (19.8), third in rebounds (8.2), second in field goal percentage (.545), fourth in free throw percentage (.828) and the league leader in blocked shots (3.0). Gant, who is averaging 30.5 points and 10.0 rebounds in SBC play, is one of five players nationally averaging 30.0 points in conference games.
Louisiana will return to action on Saturday when it travels to face ULM in a 2 p.m., contest at Fant-Ewing Coliseum.