Long named state's top freshman

Staff Report

LAFAYETTE — Ragin’ Cajuns freshman forward Shawn Long and sophomore point guard Elfrid Payton have been named to the 2012-13 All-Louisiana Men’s Basketball Team, released Saturday by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.

Payton was named to the second team, while Long was named Freshman of the Year and a third-team honoree.

Southern head coach Roman Banks was named the coach of the year, Josh Davis of Tulane was the state’s player of the year and DeQuan Hicks of Northwestern State was voted newcomer of the year. The All-Louisiana team was voted on by a panel of media members and sports information directors from across the state.

Long, a 6-9 forward from Morgan City, was the state’s overwhelming choice for freshman of the year after averaging 15.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. The Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, Long finished the season as the nation’s top freshman rebounder and was 12th overall.

Long recorded 18 double-doubles on the season — sixth nationally — and scored in double figures 30 times. His 337 rebounds were the sixth-best in school history, and his 10.2 rebounding average was the eighth-best mark.

Payton, a 6-2, 170-pound point guard from Gretna, had a breakout year, averaging a team-best 15.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.4 steals per game. He was the only player in the country to average 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals per game this year.

Payton finished the year leading the Sun Belt Conference in both steals and assists, ranking 12th nationally in steals and 38th in assists. He was also fourth in the league in scoring and 18th in rebounds.

A starter in all 33 games, Payton ranks third in school history with 80 steals this year, while his 181 assists are fourth-best. With two full seasons to play, he already ranks 18th all-time with 117 steals and 278 assists.

The All-LSWA first team consisted of Davis, Johnny O’Bryant of LSU, Raheem Appleby of Louisiana Tech, Fred Hunter of Nicholls State and Derick Beltran of Southern.

Joining Payton on the second team were Hicks, Brandon Fortenberry of Southeastern Louisiana, Brandon Davis of LSU-Shreveport and Centenary’s Jonathan Blount.

Long was joined on the third team by Robert Lovaglio of Loyola, Rodney Milum of LSU-S, Malcolm Miller of Southern and Tulane’s Ricky Tarrant.

Earning honorable mention notice were LSU’s Anthony Hickey, Jarrain Jenkins of Dillard, Northwestern State’s Jalan West and Shamir Davis and the Xavier tandem of Wanto Joseph and Denzell Erves.

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