For a second straight season, Louisiana Tech head coach Eric Konkol was voted as the Louisiana Men’s College Basketball Coach of the Year by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Also earning accolades by the LSWA were freshman Kenneth Lofton, Jr. who earned Second Team All-Louisiana honors as well as sophomore Isaiah Crawford who received All-Louisiana Honorable Mention.
In Konkol’s sixth season as head coach of the Bulldogs, he guided the team to a 24-8 overall record, the most victories of any Conference USA team and of any Louisiana Division I team.
LA Tech ended up winning the Conference USA West Division title while playing the second hardest league schedule. The ‘Dogs also earned an at-large berth into the National Invitation Tournament, defeating Ole Miss, WKU and Colorado State in route to a third place finish in the NIT.
Konkol and his staff produced the highest-rated defense in C-USA, ranking 39th in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency. The team also ranked No. 1 in the league and top 30 in the country in field goal percentage defense and three-point field goal percentage defense.
It is the fourth postseason honor for Konkol this season. He was also named LABC Major College Coach of the Year, NABC District 11 Coach of the Year and Conference USA Coach of the Year.
Lofton, Jr. also added to his collection of postseason honors. The freshman anchored the Bulldogs in scoring and rebounding, averaging 12.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while also leading the team in blocks and ranking second in steals.
The Port Arthur, Texas native started 28 of the 32 games, registering the most double-digit scoring games on the squad with 22 while posting a team-best 20+ scoring performances. He also had a team-high nine double-doubles, ranking second in C-USA and 27th in the country.
The forward also ranked in the top 25 in the nation in free throw attempts and total rebounds.
Fellow forward Crawford played in all 32 games as well, making 21 starts. He finished second in scoring behind Lofton, Jr., averaging 11.8 points per game while scoring double-digit points in 19 games, including three 20+ scoring performances.
The Fort Worth, Texas native also pulled down 162 rebounds for an average of 5.1 boards per game, third most on the team, and tied for the most blocks on the squad with 23.
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FIRST TEAM ALL-LOUISIANA
Kadavion Evans, LSU Shreveport
Cedric Russell, UL-Lafayette
Javonte Smart, LSU
Cameron Thomas, LSU
Trendon Watford, LSU
SECOND TEAM ALL-LOUISIANA
Theo Akwuba, UL-Lafayette
Jaylen Forbes, Tulane
Ty Gordon, Nicholls State
Kenneth Lofton, Jr., Louisiana Tech
Rayshawn Mart, Xavier
THIRD TEAM ALL-LOUISIANA
Kae’Ron Baker, Louisiana College
Jonathan Cisse, LSU-Eunice
Darius Days, LSU
Damion Rosser, New Orleans
Zach Wrightsil, Loyola
Malik Amos, Dillard
Isaiah Crawford, Louisiana Tech
Seth Thomas, Centenary
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Cameron Thomas, LSU
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Theo Akwuba, UL-Lafayette
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Cameron Thomas, LSU
COACH OF THE YEAR: Eric Konkol, Louisiana Tech