Brandon Sampson, Madison Prep, Sr.
Can less really equal more?
It did for the 6-foot-5 Sampson, who led the Class 1A Chargers to a state title and earned Louisiana’s Mr. Basketball honor from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association. Sampson averaged 15.9 points,
2.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists for a Madison Prep team that finished 35-1, losing only to Mississippi power Calloway. His improved leadership skills and work ethic proved to be more important than averaging five points less per game than a year ago.
Coach of the Year, Chris Beckman, Episcopal
The Knights hadn’t been to the LHSAA’s Top 28 tournament since 2011. And with a lineup that featured no player taller than 6-4, 2014-15 didn’t figure to be a banner year. But Beckman’s always fundamentally sound Knights dismissed naysayers by going unbeaten in District 6-2A and compiling a 31-3 record that included a Top 28 semifinal berth.
Chris Beckman JR./Episcopal
The son of the coach proved to be a jack-of-all trades for the Class 2A Knights. Beckman Jr. averaged 16.3 points, 6.2 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game.
Braxton Bernard/Donaldsonville, 6-4, Jr.
A prolific scorer for the Class 3A Tigers who can shoot the 3-pointer or post up inside, Bernard had 56 points in one game and averaged 24.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game.
JaTyre Carter/White Castle, 6-5, So.
Carter is the latest in a long line of a quality post players for the Class 1A Bulldogs. He exhibited versatile low-post moves while averaging 15.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
Jacob Evans/St. Michael, 6-6, Sr.
Evans was a matchup nightmare for most opponents all season. The senior averaged 23.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.6 steals as the Warriors made Top 28 and semifinals for the first time.
Toliver Freeman/Catholic, 6-2, Jr.
Freeman became the leader of the pack for the Bears offense by perfecting a consistent inside/out game. He had averages of 18.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists.
Courtney Julien/St. Amant, 6-3, Sr.
Julien flew under the radar because the 5A Gators didn’t make the playoffs. Averages of 24.1 points and 5 assists with 62 percent field-goal shooting speak volumes.
Spencer Kleinpeter/Episcopal, 5-10, Sr.
Kleinpeter didn’t just have the drive to win. He proved he could drive to the basket, usually surging past taller opponents to average 17.9 points, 5.4 assists and 3.5 rebounds.
Ishmael Lane/Port Allen, 6-8, Sr.
Lane is the undisputed choice as the BR area’s top low-post player. He led the Pelicans to the Class 3A quarterfinals with averages of 19 points, 12 rebounds and six blocked shots per game.
LaMarcus Lee/Scotlandville, 6-1, Sr.
Lee made the transition from super sub/sparkplug to consistent facilitator for Class 5A state champion Scotlandville. He averaged 13.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.
D.J. Marshall/Plaquemine, 6-5 Sr.
Marshall provided toughness and a solid post presence for 4A quarterfinalist Plaquemine. Hel played his best against top opponents and averaged 14.1 points and 7.3 rebounds.
Skylar Mays/University, 6-3, Sr.
No one was better at distributing the basketball to teammates than Mays, who had 17 assists in two Top 28 games. He averaged 9.1 points, 8.1 assists and 3.2 rebounds.
Wayde Sims/University, 6-6, Jr.
The LSWA’s Class 3A MVP and the Outstanding Player in the title game for the 3A champs was so steady. Sims averaged 17.6 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
Ja’Vonte Smart/Scotlandville, 6-3, Fr.
Few thought a freshman could Smart would be the Outstanding Player in the 5A final. The freshman was that guy for the 5A champions and averaged 15.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists.
Christion Thompson/Madison Prep, 6-4, Sr.
Thompson teamed with Sampson to give the Chargers a tall backcourt that lived up to expectations. He finished with averages of 12.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.