BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (SWAC) – The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) released its selections for the 2016-17 All-Conference Men’s Basketball teams on Monday with top-seeded Texas Southern earning recognition for four of the five large awards as well as two spots on All-Conference teams.
The awards and All-Conference selections were voted on by the school’s sports information directors and SWAC head coaches.
Texas Southern guard Zach Lofton doubled as both the SWAC Player of the Year and the Newcomer of the Year.
The junior transfer led the league with 17.9 points per game, points scored (554), was ranked fifth in free throw percentage (.787), tied for ninth in steals per game (1.3), 13th in field goal percentage (.433) and was 14th in assists (2.3 per game).
Lofton was one of six players in the SWAC to be honored twice with SWAC Player of the Week nods throughout the season. The 6-foot-3 guard has scored in double figures on 26 occasions this season including an active streak of 16 consecutive games. Additionally, he has scored 20+ points in 14 games and on two occasions has scored at least 30 in a game.
Joining Lofton were teammates Marvin Jones, who was named the SWAC Defensive Player of the Year, and Demontrae Jefferson, who garnered the Freshman of the Year accolade.
Listed as a 7-footer, Jones led the SWAC in blocks shots per game (1.5) and was fifth in defensive rebounds per game (4.6). Jones was also the top shot blocker against conference-only opponents with 2.0 blocks registered per contest and was ranked second in defensive rebounds per game with 5.4 per game.
In 23 games, Jefferson was the top scoring freshman in the conference and was ranked second on his team with 14.4 points per game. The 5-foot-7 guard led the Tigers in 3-pointer made per game (1.4), assists per game (3.3) and was fourth in steals per game (0.9).
Alcorn State head coach Montez Robinson was named the SWAC Coach of the Year.
Projected to finish fifth in the All-SWAC Preseason Poll by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors, the Braves rose three spots higher than expected with a second-place finish at 13-5 in conference play and, at one point, carried the nation’s fifth longest active winning streak at 11 straight games.
The entire list of All-SWAC conference awards and first and second teams are below.
Guard – Zach Lofton – Texas Southern
Guard – Marcus Romain – Mississippi Valley State
Forward – Shawn Prudhomme – Southern
Forward – Marquis Vance – Alcorn State
Center – Avery Ugba – Grambling State
Guard – Yettra Specks – Jackson State
Guard – Tevin Bellinger – Prairie View A&M
Forward – Reginal Johnson – Alcorn State
Forward – Kevin Scott – Texas Southern
Center – Jared Sam – Southern
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Zach Lofton – Texas Southern
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Marvin Jones – Texas Southern
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Zach Lofton – Texas Southern
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Demontrae Jefferson – Texas Southern
COACH OF THE YEAR
Montez Robinson – Alcorn State