Home » Men’s college basketball: Louisiana Tech’s Crawford named CUSA Player of the Year

Men’s college basketball: Louisiana Tech’s Crawford named CUSA Player of the Year

by Russell Hedges

By Kane McGuire, Louisiana Tech Associate Athletic Director/Strategic Communications; featured photo by Darrell James

Louisiana Tech racked up nine Conference USA postseason awards, headlined by Isaiah Crawford who was selected as both Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in a vote by league head coaches, SIDs, and media members.

Crawford was also one of four Bulldogs, along with Daniel BatchoTahlik Chavez, and Sean Newman Jr., to be named All-Conference USA. He along with Batcho, who was also voted CUSA Newcomer of the Year, were two of the five members on the CUSA All-Defensive Team.

Way back in October, Crawford was voted as the CUSA Preseason Player of the Year. That prediction held true as the fifth-year senior put together a dominant season in helping lead LA Tech to a 22-9 overall record and a No. 2 seed in the CUSA Basketball Championship.

Offensively, the First Team All-CUSA selection was super consistent and super productive, averaging 16.5 points while shooting 49.7 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from beyond the arc. The Fort Worth, Texas native registered double-digit points in 26 of his 31 games including nine games of 20+ points.

The forward was even more impressive during league play when he averaged 17.9 points, second best in CUSA. Six of his 20+ scoring performances came against conference action including a career-high 30 points at Jacksonville State.

Crawford was equally as good defensively in helping the Bulldogs have the No. 1 defense in the league and one of the top defenses in the country, ranking seventh in field goal percentage defense (39.1) and 16th in scoring defense (63.4).

He has recorded four double-doubles while averaging 6.0 rebounds per game. He also ranks top three in CUSA and top 50 in the country in both steals per game (2.13) and blocks per game (1.77). He has totaled 66 steals, which ranks fourth in program history, while also amassing 55 blocks. As a result, he is the only player in Division I basketball and just the third player in CUSA history to with 50+ blocks and 60+ steals in a single season.

Joining him as a First Team All-CUSA selection and All-Defensive Team member was Batcho. The forward has played a major part in the Bulldogs success, averaging 14.9 points, 9.8 rebounds (ranks 23rd in the country), and 2.4 blocks per game (ranks eighth in the country).

The Paris, France native has posted a CUSA-leading 10 double-doubles while also leading the league in field goal percentage (58.0). He has scored in double figures in 23 of his 27 contests including five 20+ scoring efforts.  

Fellow newcomer Tahlik Chavez was named Third Team All-CUSA. The shooting guard is averaging 13.8 points per game but upped that average to 16.1 points during league action, ranking fourth in CUSA scoring.

He did most of his scoring damage from beyond the arc where he is shooting 40.8 percent, which ranks first in CUSA and 30th in the country. The Arlington, Texas native has made 78 three-pointers, which currently ranks as the sixth most in a single season in program history. Seven of those threes came at FIU when he scored 27 points in the 40-point win over the Panthers. 

Sean Newman Jr. was the fourth Bulldog to receive postseason honors, earning Honorable Mention All-CUSA. The point guard is averaging 7.2 points per game with eight contests of double-digit points including a season-high 19 points at WKU.

The Los Angeles, Calif. native has contributed the most with his passing, averaging 5.2 assists per game which ranks first in CUSA and 39th in the country. He has amassed a CUSA-best 141 assists with 18 games of at least five assists including a season-high 10 at FIU.

The Bulldogs open the 2024 CUSA Basketball Championships versus No. 7 seed Middle Tennessee on Wednesday, March 13 at 8 p.m. CT at VBC Propst Arena in Huntsville, Alabama. The quarterfinal matchup will be broadcast on ESPN+.

For all the latest in Bulldog Basketball, follow us on X (@LATechHoops), Instagram (@LATechHoops), and Facebook (LATechMBB). 

CUSA Player of the Year
Isaiah Crawford, Louisiana Tech

CUSA Defensive Player of the Year
Isaiah Crawford, Louisiana Tech

CUSA Freshman of the Year
David Terrell Jr., UTEP

CUSA Sixth Man of the Year
Rodney Howard, WKU

CUSA Coach of the Year
Chris Mudge, Sam Houston

CUSA Newcomer of the Year
Daniel Batcho, Louisiana Tech

First Team All-CUSA
KyKy Tandy, Jacksonville State
Daniel Batcho, Louisiana Tech
Isaiah Crawford, Louisiana Tech
Lamar Wilkerson, Sam Houston
Don McHenry, WKU

Second Team All-CUSA
Zach Cleveland, Liberty
Kyle Rode, Liberty
Jestin Porter, Middle Tennessee
Davon Barnes, Sam Houston
Tae Hardy, UTEP

Third Team All-CUSA
Arturo Dean, FIU
Tahlik Chavez, Louisiana Tech
Kaden Metheny, Liberty
Jared Coleman-Jones, Middle Tennessee
Femi Odukale, New Mexico State

Honorable Mention All-CUSA
Javaunte Hawkins, FIU
Mason Nicholson, Jacksonville State
Sean Newman Jr., Louisiana Tech
Elias King, Middle Tennessee
Kaosi Ezeagu, New Mexico State
Cameron Huefner, Sam Houston
Otis Frazier III, UTEP
Rodney Howard, WKU
Tyrone Marshall Jr., WKU
Brandon Newman, WKU

CUSA All-Defensive Team
Arturo Dean, FIU
Daniel Batcho, Louisiana Tech
Isaiah Crawford, Louisiana Tech
Joseph Venzant, Liberty
Otis Frazier III, UTEP

CUSA All-Freshman Team
Chris Loofe, Middle Tennessee
Elijah Jones, UTEP
Trey Horton III, UTEP
David Terrell Jr., UTEP
Teagan Moore, WKU

POSTSEASON AWARD NOTES

  • This marked just the third time in program history LA Tech had four Bulldogs selected all-conference (last time was 1985)
  • Isaiah Crawford became the third Bulldog to win CUSA Player of the Year, joining Alex Hamilton (2016) and Speedy Smith (2015)
  • Isaiah Crawford became the second Bulldog ever to be voted CUSA Defensive Player of the Year (Speedy Smith, 2014)
  • This marked the fifth time the Bulldogs have had multiple players on the All-Defensive Team (last time was 2015)
  • Daniel Batcho became the first Newcomer of the Year honoree for LA Tech since 2009 (Magnum Rolle, WAC)
  • This marked just the fifth time in CUSA history a player has earned both Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year
    • 2024 Isaiah Crawford, LA Tech
    • 2021 Charles Bassey, WKU
    • 2005 Eddie Basden, Charlotte
    • 2003 Dwyane Wade, Marquette
    • 2000 Kenyon Martin, Cincinnati
  • This marked the first time since 2013 that LA Tech had two players earn First Team All-Conference honors
  • This marked the first time in CUSA history that the Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, and Newcomer of the Year came from the same school

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