Sunday, May 1, 2016

Southern's Roman Banks honored as LABC's Coach of the Year

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana --  Southern University head coach Roman Banks became the eleventh head coach to win the Tommy Joe Eagles Memorial Award for Louisiana's top collegiate head coach at the major level in the awards 42-year history.

Banks received the award during Saturday’s 42nd Annual Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches Awards Banquet held at the Embassy Suites Hotel.

Banks joins a distinguished group of coaches which included former Southern head coach Ben Jobe, who won the award in 1988 and 1993. Dale Brown and John Brady of LSU, Andy Russo of Louisiana Tech, Mike Vining of UL-Monroe, Rickey Broussard of Nicholls State, George "Tic" Price of New Orleans, Mike McConathy of Northwestern State, Billy Kennedy of Southeastern Louisiana and Dave Simmons of McNeese State serve as the only state coaches who have earned the award on multiple occasions.

Banks, who also served as an assistant on Kennedy's staff at Southeastern during the 2004 and 2005 season, led the Jaguars to the program's second Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament championship under Banks and to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in three years with a 22-13 record.

After leaving Southeastern in 2011 to become the head coach at Southern, Banks quickly transformed the Jaguars to an immediate winner and by the 2012-13 season, he had guided the Jaguars to a 23-10 record and produced Southern's first SWAC tournament title and NCAA Tournament bid since 2006.

Inducted into the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame was Nicholls State’s Rickey Broussard.

The other major honoree was former LSU radio announcer Jim Hawthorne, who received the LABC’s Mr. Louisiana Basketball award. This award is given annually to someone who has made a significant, long-term contribution to the game of basketball at any level in the State of Louisiana.

Also honored at the banquet were Louisiana’s major college, small college, junior college and high school basketball players and coaches of the year, along with the top pro player from the state.

Broussard coached at Nicholls State from 1990 to 2002, where he won 150 games and finished his career as the second winningest coach in school history. He was a three-time Southland Conference Coach of the Year, two-time Louisiana Coach of the Year and once an NABC District Coach of the Year.

Broussard led the Colonels to two SLC regular season and tournament championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances, including seasons of 24-6, 19-9 and 19-10.

Hawthorne retired this year as the radio announcer for LSU basketball after a distinguished 36-year career as one of the top play-by-play men in all of collegiate athletics. He called some of the greatest moments in the history of Tigers basketball, including LSU’s Final Four appearances in 1981, 1986 and 2006 along with six SEC championships.

Hawthorne also introduced basketball fans to some of the best players to ever wear the LSU uniform in Shaquille O'Neal, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (then Chris Jackson), Rudy Macklin, Stromile Swift, Glen Davis and Brandon Bass. This summer he will receive the Louisiana Sports Writers Association's Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism.

The LABC also presented the Pete Maravich Memorial Award, honoring Louisiana’s Major College Player of the Year, to freshman forward Ben Simmons of LSU. This season Simmons was a first team NABC and USBWA All-American and the consensus National Freshman of the Year. He averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds (1st in SEC and 7th in nation) and 4.79 assists and had 23 double-double games (1st in SEC and 5th in nation). He scored in double figures in 32 of 33 games, including eighteen 20-point games, and had single game highs of 43 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists and 7 steals.

The Bob Pettit Award, which is given to Louisiana's Professional Player of the Year, was presented to forward Paul Millsap of the Atlanta Hawks. In his tenth year in the NBA, the former Louisiana Tech star averaged 17.1 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. Millsap had 32 double-double games and single game highs of 31 points, 18 rebounds, 8 assists and 6 blocks. He was also selected to play in the NBA All-Star Game for the third straight season.

Senior point guard DeAngelo Coleman of LSU-Alexandria received the Louisiana Small College Player of the Year award after being named a first team NAIA All-American and the Red River Athletic Conference Player of the Year, while averaging 14.0 points and 3.90 assists and shooting 44.9% behind the three-point line.

Second year coach Larry Cordaro of LSU-Alexandria, who was named the Louisiana Small College Coach of the Year, guided the Generals to a No. 2 ranking in the final regular season national poll, to the Red River Athletic Conference regular season championship and to the second round of the NAIA National Tournament with a 29-4 record in the school’s second season of competition. Cordaro was the HoopDirt NAIA National Coach of the Year and the RRAC Coach of the Year.

D’Angelo McClinton and Coach David Francis of Southern-Shreveport were honored as the Louisiana Junior College Player and Coach of the Year, respectively. McClinton, a sophomore guard, averaged 18 points, 6 assists and 4 steals and was an NJCAA Region 23 All-Tournament selection. Francis led the Port City Jags to the Miss-Lou Conference championship and to the semifinals of the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament with a 19-9 record. This was Francis’ 12th conference championship in 16 seasons.

2016 LABC Honorees:

Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee: Rickey Broussard, Nicholls St.

Mr. Louisiana Basketball: Jim Hawthorne, LSU

Bob Pettit Award for the Louisiana Professional Player of the Year: Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks

Pete Maravich Memorial Award for the Louisiana Major College Player of the Year: Ben Simmons, LSU

Tommy Joe Eagles Memorial Award for the Louisiana Major College Coach of the Year: Roman Banks, Southern

Louisiana Small College Player of the Year: DeAngelo Coleman, LSU-Alexandria

Louisiana Small College Coach of the Year: Larry Cordaro, LSU-Alexandria

Louisiana Junior College Player of the Year: D’Angelo McClinton, Southern-Shreveport

Louisiana Junior College Coach of the Year: David Francis, Southern-Shreveport

Louisiana High School Players of the Year:
Class AAAAA: Ja’Vonte Smart, Scotlandville
Class AAAA: De’Jon Jarreau, McDonogh 35
Class AAA: Jalen Johnson, University
Class AA: Robert Williams, North Caddo
Class A: Kalob LeDoux, Lafayette Christian
Class B: Will Reese, Anacoco
Class C: Paul Corbin, Summerfield

Louisiana High School Coaches of the Year:
Class AAAAA: Barry Whittington, East Ascension
Class AAAA: Albert Hartwell, Washington-Marion
Class AAA: Casey Jones, Wossman
Class AA: Damon West, Rayville
Class A: Marcus Jackson, Arcadia
Class B: Martin Ramirez, Grace Christian
Class C: Randy Carlisle, Summerfield


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