After a season in which he enrolled in school as the most-heralded basketball recruit in the nation, LSU’s Ben Simmons was selected the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year in a vote by a statewide panel of media members.
Simmons, a consensus first-team All-America selection, was also the overwhelming choice as the state’s top freshman player with Dillard’s Demetric Austin tabbed as the LSWA Newcomer of the Year.
Second-year coach Larry Cordaro of LSU Alexandria was named the state’s Coach of the Year after leading the Generals to a 27-2 regular-season record, their second consecutive Red River Athletic Conference championship and a berth in the NAIA national tournament. The Generals earned first NAIA No. 1 ranking and finished No. 3.
In his lone season at LSU, Simmons was one of two freshmen in the country to average a double-double with 19.2 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. Simmons, 6-foot-10, had 23 double-doubles, fifth nationally, and was the first player in SEC history to finish in the top five in scoring, rebounds and assists (since the stat became official in 1969).
His 199 free throws made trailed LSU greats Pete Maravich and Bob Pettit in school history and he was fourth-fastest player to reach the 500-point mark.
Austin helped turnaround a Bleu Devil program that had won five games in 2014-15. The Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year and a second-team NAIA All-American, he averaged 19.8 points and 9.3 rebounds for Dillard, where he led the team to the GCAC championship and berth in the NAIA national tournament.
Joining Simmons on the first team was Majok Deng of ULM, Alex Hamilton of Louisiana Tech, Shawn Long of UL Lafayette and Zeek Woodley of Northwestern State.
LSWA men’s all-state
With game averages
Majok Deng, UL-Monroe — 18.4 points
Alex Hamilton, Louisiana Tech – 20.0 points
Shawn Long, UL-Lafayette – 18.8 points
Ben Simmons, LSU – 19.2 points
Zeek Woodley, Northwestern State – 22.2 points
Demetric Austin, Dillard – 19.8 points
DeAngelo Coleman, LSU Alexandria – 14.4 points
Travion Kirkendoll, Centenary – 19.8 points
Erik McCree, Louisiana Tech – 16.5 points
Morris Wright, Xavier – 18.6 points
Antonio Blakeney, LSU – 12.6 points
Anthony Gaines, Louisiana College – 18.6 points
Johnny Griffin Jr., Loyola – 14.7 points
Keith Hornsby, LSU – 13.1 points
Adrian Rodgers, Southern – 16.6 points
Christavious Gill; UNO; Tim Quarterman, LSU; Justin Roberson, UL-Monroe
Player of the year — Ben Simmons, LSU
Newcomer of the year — Demetric Austin, Dillard
Freshman of the year — Ben Simmons, LSU
Coach of the year — Larry Cordaro, LSU Alexandria