LAFAYETTE – One of college basketball’s top bench players along the state’s first men’s national championship coach since 1961 reeled in top honors as LSU’s Tari Eason and Stacy Hollowell of Loyola highlighted the 2022 All-Louisiana Men’s College Basketball Team, released on Wednesday by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA).
The 18-member team was nominated by the state’s Men’s Basketball sports information directors and selected by a statewide panel of SIDs and media members.
Eason, a sophomore from Los Angeles, Calif., Was named as both the LSWA’s Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year after finishing as one of the top players in the SEC. The transfer from Cincinnati came off the bench in 29 of LSU’s 33 games he played in during the 2021-22 season and averaged 16.9 points and 6.6 rebounds.
The SEC’s Sixth Man of the Year and first-team All-SEC pick, Eason earned Third-Team All-America honors by Sports Illustrated and was an honorable mention All-America recipient by the Associated Press.
Eason reached double figures in scoring in 29 games during the season for LSU with 11 games of 20 points or more. The 6-foot-8 forward posted seven double doubles for the Tigers with his four 20-point, 10-rebounds games the most by an LSU player in one season since the 2015 season.
A semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, Eason had 11 games of three steals or more during the season with two games of five-plus. Eason finished sixth in the SEC in scoring, was ninth in rebounds, fourth in FG percentage, seventh in FT percentage, T4 in steals, ninth in blocks average and ninth in offensive rebound average (2.27).
Hollowell, the LSWA Coach of the Year, led a high-octane Loyola squad to a program-record 37 wins during the season which was capped by the school’s first national title on the hardwood since 1945. Leading the Wolf Pack to the first national crown by a men’s state program since Grambling in 1961, Hollowell was the NAIA National Coach of the Year, the NABC Coach of the Year (NAIA), SSAC Coach of the Year and Don Meyer Award winner.
Under Hollowell’s guidance, Loyola entered the NAIA Tournament as the overall No. 1 overall seed and produced 16 wins against teams that reached a Top 25 NAIA ranking during the season.
His team led the country in scoring, putting up a program-high of 3,395 points in 38 games, an average of 89.3 points per game, while outscoring opponents by nearly 21 points a contest. The Wolf Pack ranked first in the NAIA in steals (13.7 per game) and was second nationally in assists (19.7) and offensive rebounds (15.6) per contest.
LSU’s Brandon Murray capped off the specialty awards as he was named the state’s Freshman of the Year. The Baltimore, Md., Native, averaged 10.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists in helping lead LSU to a 22-12 record and 9-9 mark in SEC play.
The All-SEC Freshman Team member was one of the top players in the SEC in minutes played and had 16 games of scoring double figures. Murray scored a season-high 21 points against Texas A&M and added 19 and 17 points in games against Alabama.
Murray hauled in a season-high seven rebounds against Liberty and notched four games of five assists or more, including nine against Missouri in the SEC Tournament.
Eason was joined on the first team by Louisiana’s Jordan Brown, Kenneth Lofton, Jr., of Louisiana Tech, Ty Gordon of Nicholls and Loyola’s Zach Wrightsil. Named to the second team was Kae’Ron Baker of Louisiana Christian (formerly Louisiana College), Kendal Coleman of Northwestern State, Tulane’s Jalen Cook, Darius Days of LSU and Troy Green of New Orleans.
Myles Burns of Loyola was named to the LSWA third team and was joined by Jaylen Forbes of Tulane, Jalyn Hinton of Southeastern, ULM’s Andre Jones and Derek St. Hilaire of New Orleans. Three players – SLU’s Gus Okafor, Makye Richard of Xavier and LSU Shreveport’s Leondre Washington – was honorable mention selections.
For more information on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, visit the official website at www.lswa.info.
2022 ALL-LOUISIANA MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL TEAM
Selected by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA)
Tari Eason, LSU – SEC Sixth Man of the Year, All-SEC First Team, AP Honorable Mention All-America
Jordan Brown, Louisiana – Second Team All-SBC, First-Team NABC All-District
Kenneth Lofton, Jr., Louisiana Tech – First Team All-Conference USA, First-Team NABC All-District
Ty Gordon, Nicholls – SLC Player of the Year, CollegeInsider.com Lou Henson All-America Team
Zach Wrightsil, Loyola – NAIA / NABC National Player of the Year, SSAC Player of the Year
Kae’Ron Baker, Louisiana Christian – NAIA Second Team All-American, RRAC Player of the Year
Kendal Coleman, Northwestern State – First-Team All-SLC, SLC All-Defensive Team
Jalen Cook, Tulane – First-Team All-AAC
Darius Days, LSU – All-SEC Second team
Troy Green, New Orleans – First-Team All-SLC
Myles Burns, Loyola – NAIA National Championship Tournament MVP, NAIA Second-Team All-America
Jaylen Forbes, Tulane – Second-Team All-ACC
Jalyn Hinton, Southeastern – SLC Defensive Player of the Year, Second-Team All-SLC
Andre Jones, ULM – Third-Team All-SBC
Derek St. Hilaire, New Orleans – First-Team All-SLC, NABC All-District
Gus Okafor, Southeastern; Makye Richard, Xavier; Leondre Washington, LSU Shreveport
Player of the Year – Tari Eason, LSU
Newcomer of the Year – Tari Eason, LSU
Freshman of the Year – Brandon Murray, LSU
Coach of the Year – Stacy Hollowell, Loyola