NATCHITOCHES, La. -- There wasn’t any doubt about the focus of the scouting reports Southland Conference basketball opponents prepared for their games against Northwestern State this season.
Then, and now, coaches around the league recognized impactful junior center Ishmael Lane, who Monday was named to the 15-man All-Southland Conference basketball team.
Lane, the Demons’ leading scorer, rebounder, shot blocker and most accurate 3-point shooter, was a third-team selection in voting by the conference head coaches and sports information directors at the 13 Southland institutions.
“It’s nice to see the effort Ishmael put forth were been appreciated by everybody around the league,” said 19th-year Demons coach Mike McConathy. “He was one of the better players in the Southland this season, surrounded almost exclusively by new players, and for a long while, defenses were able to really pack it in around him.”
The 6-foot-8 Port Allen product averaged 14.9 points and 7.9 rebounds in 18 conference games, hitting 54 percent of his overall shots and blocking 2.0 shots per game.
Overall, his averages were 13.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, 53 percent shooting, 1.8 blocked shots, and 38 percent aim on 3-pointers.
Lane entered the Demons’ record books this season in career scoring and blocked shots. He became the 31st NSU player in more than a century to post 1,000 points, finishing with 1,038 heading into his senior season. He broke into the Demons’ career top 10 in blocks and has 101, which ranks eighth all-time.
He ranks 60th nationally and second in the Southland in blocked shots per game, 69th in the NCAA and third in the conference in shooting aim, and 74th nationally and third in the league with eight double-doubles.
He grabbed a career-best 17 rebounds against Abilene Christian, blocked a career-best five shots against LSU Shreveport, and had a season-best 28 points, 26 after halftime, at home against Central Arkansas.
Seven of his career 11 games with 20 or more points came this season. He scored in double figures in 22 of 29 games for the Demons.
Lane also posted a fall semester grade point average of 3.18 in communications.
He is among 11 letterwinners expected to return next season, including eight newcomers and six freshmen from the fifth-youngest team in college basketball this season.
UCA senior guard Jordan Howard, the nation’s No. 3 scorer with a 25.8 average, was voted Southland Player of the Year.
Player of the Year: Jordan Howard, Central Arkansas
Defensive Player of the Year: Marlain Veal, Southeastern Louisiana
Freshman of the Year: David Caraher, Houston Baptist
Newcomer of the Year: Roddy Peters, Nicholls
Coach of the Year: Richie Riley, Nicholls
2017-18 All-Southland Conference Men’s Basketball Teams
First Team Institution Pos. Class Hometown
Jordan Howard3 Central Arkansas G Sr. Chandler, Ariz.
Roddy Peters Nicholls G Sr. Washington, D.C.
Marlain Veal2 Southeastern Louisiana G Jr. New Orleans, La.
Chris Galbreath, Jr. Sam Houston State F Sr. Chicago, Ill.
Colton Weisbrod2 Lamar F Sr. Nederland, Texas
Second Team Institution Pos. Class Hometown
Shannon Bogues Stephen F. Austin G Jr. Killeen, Texas
Joseph Kilgore A&M-Corpus Christi G Sr. Houston, Texas
Tevon Saddler Nicholls G Sr. Aberdeen, Md.
Jordan Capps Southeastern La. F Sr. Norcross, Ga.
Kevon Harris Stephen F. Austin G/F So. Ellenwood, Ga.
Third Team Institution Pos. Class Hometown
David Caraher Houston Baptist F Fr. Chapel Hill, N.C.
TJ Holyfield2 Stephen F. Austin F Jr. Albuquerque, N.M.
Quatarrius Wilson McNeese F Jr. Mobile, Ala.
Ishmael Lane Northwestern State F/C Jr. Port Allen, La.
Kalob Ledoux McNeese G So. Port Barre, La.
2 indicates two-time all-conference selection
3 indicates three-time all-conference selection
Honorable Mention: Jalone Friday, Abilene Christian; Nick Garth, Lamar; John Dewey III, Sam Houston State; Mathieu Kamba, Central Arkansas; Josh Nzeakor, Lamar; Jaren Lewis, Abilene Christian; Shawn Johnson, UIW.
All-Defensive Team Institution Pos. Class Hometown
Marlain Veal Southeastern La. G Jr. New Orleans, La.
Jahvaughn Powell Nicholls G Sr. Tallahassee, Fla.
Hayden Koval Central Arkansas C Fr. Prosper, Texas
TJ Holyfield Stephen F. Austin F Jr. Albuquerque, N.M.
Jaylen Franklin Abilene Christian G Jr. Little Rock, Ark.
Aaron Augustin Stephen F. Austin G So. Suwanee, Ga.