Three Cajuns Named To All-SBC Team; Marlin Named Coach Of The Year

Cajun Nation
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The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns men’s basketball team placed a league-high three players on the 2018 All-Sun Belt Conference team while head coach Bob Marlin was named the Joe Gottfried Coach of the Year in a release by the league office on Monday.
 
Seniors Frank Bartley and Bryce Washington were each named to the first-team for Louisiana with JaKeenan Gant selected to the third-team. Gant, who transferred to Louisiana after two years at Missouri, was picked as both the league’s Defensive Player and Newcomer of the Year.
 
The 2018 SBC team was chosen by a vote by the league’s 12 head coaches and selected media panel.
 
Bartley, a senior from Baton Rouge, led the Ragin’ Cajuns in scoring (17.4), 3-pointers made (73) while leading the league in free throw percentage (.870). The 2017 SBC Newcomer of the Year scored in double figures in 29 straight games for Louisiana with 10 games scoring 20 or more points, including eight in SBC action.
 
Washington, a senior from New Orleans, finished for the second consecutive year as the lone SBC player to average a double-double after scoring 10.6 points and league-high 10.7 rebounds. The former St. Augustine High product produced 12 double-doubles on the season for Louisiana and finished among the league leaders in steals and blocks. One of five players nationally to average a double-double during the past two years, Washington finished the regular-season as one of four players in both school and SBC history to score 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds in a career. His 1,077 career rebounds are second in school history behind Shawn Long.
 
Gant, a transfer from Missouri, finished second for the Ragin’ Cajuns in both scoring (14.7) and rebounds (6.3) while leading the league in field goal percentage (.561) and blocked shots (2.5). The Springfield, Ga., native scored in double figures in 22 games during the season, scoring 20 or more points in six contests. The 6-foot-8 forward finished the regular-season as one of three players nationally to average 14.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and shooting 56 percent or greater from the field.
 
Marlin, in his eighth season at the helm, joined Marty Fletcher (1992) as Louisiana coaches to claim the league’s coaching honor. In his eighth season as head coach, Marlin guided Louisiana to school-records for overall wins (26) and SBC wins (16). His 2017-18 team reached the 20-win plateau faster than any team in school history while leading the Ragin’ Cajuns to their first SBC title since 1999-2000 and their first outright championship since 1991-92.
 
Louisiana (26-5) will open play in the Sun Belt Conference Championships at New Orleans’ Lakefront Arena on Friday at 11:30 a.m., against the winner of Coastal Carolina-Texas State.
 
All-Sun Belt First Team
Tookie Brown, Georgia Southern (Junior, G, Madison, Ga.)
D’Marcus Simonds, Georgia State (Sophomore, G, Gainesville, Ga.)
Frank Bartley IV, Louisiana (Senior, G, Baton Rouge, La.)
Bryce Washington, Louisiana (Senior, F, New Orleans, La.)
Kevin Hervey, UTA (Senior, F, Arlington, Texas)
 
All-Sun Belt Second Team
Ronshad Shabazz, Appalachian State (Junior, G, Raleigh, N.C.)
Travis Munnings, ULM (Junior, F, Freeport, Bahamas)
Rodrick Sikes, South Alabama (Junior, G, Ocean Springs, Miss.)
Erick Neal, UTA (Senior, G, Dallas, Texas)
Jordon Varnado, Troy (Junior, F, Brownsville, Tenn.)
 
All-Sun Belt Third Team
Devin Mitchell, Georgia State (Junior, G, Suwanee, Ga.)
JaKeenan Gant, Louisiana (Junior, F, Springfield, Ga.)
Sam McDaniel, ULM (Senior, G/F, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia)
Nijal Pearson, Texas State (Sophomore, G, Beaumont, Texas)
Wesley Person, Troy (Senior, G, Brantley, Ala.)
 
Sun Belt Player of the Year
D’Marcus Simonds, Georgia State (Sophomore, G, Gainesville, Ga.)
 
Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year
JaKeenan Gant, Louisiana (Junior, F, Springfield, Ga.)
 
Sun Belt Freshman of the Year
Michael Ertel, ULM (Freshman, G, Indianapolis, Ind.)
 
Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year
JaKeenan Gant, Louisiana (Junior, F, Springfield, Ga.)
 
Joe Gottfried Sun Belt Coach of the Year
Bob Marlin, Louisiana

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