LAFAYETTE — A pair of All-Sun Belt honors were given out to forward Shawn Long and point guard Jay Wright Tuesday, and Georgia State forward R.J. Hunter repeated as the league’s Player of the Year.
Long was named a first-teamer for the second consecutive season after averaging 17 points and 10.3 rebounds per game in his junior season. Long and Arkansas State’s Anthony Livingston (15.9/10) were the only players in the SBC to average a double-double in the regular season.
The Morgan City native is just 10 rebounds shy of becoming the third player in team history to snag 1,000 rebounds in his career.
Wright, who was named to the third team, played a crucial role in the Cajuns’ six-game winning streak to close the regular season, averaging 15.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game during the streak while also playing lock down defense on the opposing team’s best guard.
The sophomore junior college transfer improved as the season went along, and was one of two Cajuns players to average double-digit points in league play.
He finished the season scoring 9.4 points per game, shooting 40.3 percent from the 3-point line while handing out a team-best 105 assists.
Hunter was named the Player of the Year for the second consecutive year after scoring 19.7 points per game for SBC regular-season champion Georgia State. He was the only player in the league to top 600 points in the regular season (611).
While Hunter is known around the league as a shooter, he dominated at the free throw line this season, where he made 184 of his 211 attempts. No other player in the conference attempted 200 free throws.
Georgia Southern’s Jelani Hewitt was named Defensive Player of the Year after averaging 2.7 steals per game.
ULM coach Keith Richard was named Coach of the Year after guiding the Warhawks to a third-place finish with a 14-6 mark in league play. ULM was tabbed to finish sixth in the conference on the preseason ballot.
Troy’s Wesley Person was named the league’s freshman of the year after averaging 14.2 points per game this season.
Coaches and one media member from each team voted on the awards.
Veal, Wilridge on third team: For the first time in almost a decade, the Cajuns women landed a pair of players on the postseason all-league teams.
Guards Keke Veal and Kia Wilridge were both named third-team All-Sun Belt players after each averaged double digits for the Cajuns this season.
Veal averaged a team-best 13.8 points per game this season, and she turned it up a notch in league games, which she averaged 14.5.
Veal also led the team with 92 assists.
Wilridge also turned in a nice season offensively with 12.3 points per game, but her true value came in spear-heading the Cajuns highly effective press. She finished the year with a league-best 3.0 steals per game.
The league’s top two teams nabbed three quarters of the superlative awards, with Arkansas State’s Aundrea Gamble winning Player of the Year and UALR being awarded the Coach of the Year (Joe Foley) and Defensive Player of the Year (Ka’Nesehia Cobbins).
UT-Arlington’s Rebekah Van Dijk was named the league’s Freshman of the Year.