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Akwuba named defensive player of the year, Russell all-conference

Theo Akwuba UL MBB vs LR.jpg
Posted at 2:51 PM, Mar 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 15:51:00-05

Cedric Russell and Theo Akwuba each picked up postseason honors on Thursday when the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Men’s Basketball duo was named to the 2020-21 All-Sun Belt Conference team in an announcement by the league office.

Russell, the league’s third-leading scorer, was a first-team selection while Akwuba, the league leader in blocks, was a second-team pick and the SBC Defensive Player of the Year.

Russell finished among the SBC leaders in scoring, 3-point field goal percentage and 3-pointers made per game. The senior guard was 14th nationally in total made 3-pointers (76), 15th in 3-point FG attempts (190), 21st in 3-pointers per game (2.92), 22nd in total field goal attempts (363) and 36th in 3-point FG percentage (40.0)

The 6-foot-2 guard produced 10 games with 20-or-more points, with a season-high 30 coming at Arkansas State. Russell had 17 games with three or more 3-pointers with a season-high six coming at Texas State.

Russell opened the year with 26 points against then top-ranked Baylor in the #VegasBubble and scored 20-plus points in consecutive wins over in-state foes Louisiana Tech, New Orleans and McNeese.

Akwuba led the league in blocked shots while being ranked among the league leaders in rebounds, offensive rebounds, field goal percentage and double-doubles (10).

The University of Portland transfer finished third on the team in scoring and ranked seventh nationally in total blocks (68), 12th in offensive rebounds per game (3.77), 13th in total rebounds (243), 14th in blocks per game (2.64), 19th in double-doubles and 28th in rebounds per game

Akwuba scored 22 points, on 9-of-9 shooting with his first career 3-pointer, and grabbed eight rebounds in his Louisiana debut against then top-ranked Baylor in the #VegasBubble. He recorded 17 games with 10-or-more points and 12 contests with 10-plus rebounds. The 6-11 post player had a three-game stretch where he averaged 6.7 blocks including back-to-back seven-block performances.

He scored career-high 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting with 10 rebounds in win over Arkansas State and pulled down career-high 16 rebounds in regular-season finale at Little Rock before posting double-double (19 points, 14 rebounds) against South Alabama in SBC quarterfinals.

Follow the Ragin’ Cajuns on Twitter (@RaginCajunsMBB), Facebook (RaginCajunsMBB) or Instagram (@RaginCajunsMBB) to stay up-to-date on all that is happening with Louisiana Men’s Basketball.

All-Sun Belt First Team
DeVante Jones, Coastal Carolina
Michael Flowers, South Alabama
Mason Harrell, Texas State
Cedric Russell, Louisiana
Norchad Omier, Arkansas State

All-Sun Belt Second Team
Shahada Wells, UTA
Marquis Eaton, Arkansas State
Corey Allen, Georgia State
Justin Forrest, App State
Theo Akwuba, Louisiana

All-Sun Belt Third Team
Caleb Asberry, Texas State
Ruot Monyyong, Little Rock
Michael Almonacy, App State
Adrian Delph, App State
Eliel Nsoseme, Georgia State

Men's Basketball Player of the Year: DeVante Jones, Coastal Carolina
Men's Basketball Defensive Player of the Year: Theo Akwuba, Louisiana
Men's Basketball Freshman of the Year: Norchad Omier, Arkansas State
Men's Basketball Newcomer of the Year: Michael Flowers, South Alabama
Joe Gottfried Coach of the Year: Terrence Johnson, Texas State

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