The leading scorers on the Southern men’s and women’s basketball teams were named to All-Southwestern Athletic Conference first teams Monday.
Senior forward Adrian Rodgers was the second-leading scorer in SWAC play (17.6 points per game) and senior guard Britney Washington led a balanced Jaguars offense (13.4).
“A lot of times these things are based on scoring and (Rodgers) has definitely done that for us,” men’s coach Roman Banks said. “That was the expectation going into the year.
“He spent a lot of extra time in the gym working on his shooting because he knew we had to have that from him.”
Rodgers, who has led the Jaguars in scoring in 17 games and scored a career-high 30 points in a 79-66 victory at Grambling on Feb. 6, was unavailable for comment. The men will play Alabama State in the quarterfinals of the SWAC tournament at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in the Toyota Center in Houston.
Women’s coach Sandy Pugh cited Washington’s leadership during Southern’s home sweep of Texas Southern and Prairie View last week, which was necessary to scure a share of the SWAC title with Alabama State and Texas Southern.
“The last couple of games Britney has really done a good job for us in terms of leading the team and being dangerous offensively,” Pugh said. “I was really proud to see that as a senior she got the nod.
“I’ve been aware of what she’s capable of doing and she’s definitely a big reason why we’re in the position that we’re in. I’m just really proud of her and where she’s come from and where she’s at now.”
Washington sat out the first six games of the season while awaiting academic certification and scored a team-high 24 points in her debut in a 94-61 loss at Maryland on Dec. 11. She surpassed 1,000 career points in the 72-45 victory against Prairie View on Saturday.
“It’s an honor to get it,” said Washington, who’s from St. Francisville. “There were a lot of players who worked hard this year, a lot of players who could have gotten it easily this year. I think (Briana Green) should have been up there, but it’s an honor to be recognized with all the great players we have in the SWAC.”
Green did get recognition Monday when she was named SWAC Player of the Week for last week.
The Southern women play the winner of Tuesday’s game between Alcorn State and Mississippi Valley State in the quarterfinals at noon Wednesday in the Toyota Center.
Texas Southern dominated the men’s awards as it did the regular season, winning its second consecutive title with a 16-2 league record.
Redshirt freshman center Derrick Griffin was named Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year and Tigers coach Mike Davis was named Coach of the Year for the third time in four seasons. The one individual award that eluded TSU was Freshman of the Year, which went to Grambling’s Nigel Ribeiro.
Griffin, who was an All-SWAC wide receiver last fall, set the SWAC single-season record for consecutive double-doubles (12) and most in a season (17).
The rest of the men’s first team consisted of guards Chris Thomas (Texas Southern) and Jamel Waters (Alabama State) and forward Ladarius Tabb (Alabama A&M).
Alcorn State’s Norianna Haynes was named women’s Player of the Year after leading the league in scoring (20.3) and double-doubles (12).
The other individual awards went to Keiana Vines of Texas Southern (Defensive Player of the Year), Niya Head of Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Newcomer of the Year) and Jazmin Boyd and Nadine Domond of Grambling as Freshman of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectfully.
Joining Haynes and Washington on the first team were guard Brianna Sidney of Texas Southern, forward Britney Wright of Alabama State and Vines.
Follow Les East on Twitter, @EastAdvocate.