Franklin, Friday, & Lewis earn All-Southland Honors

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Three ACU men’s basketball players were honored by the league office Monday afternoon as the Southland Conference announced its post-season honors in advance of the conference’s postseason tournament, which gets underway this week in Katy.

Junior guard Jaylen Franklin was voted to the All-Defensive Team, while junior forward Jaren Lewis and sophomore center Jalone Friday were each voted honorable mention all-conference.

Franklin was tied for fourth in the league in total steals (57) and steals per game (1.9), anchoring an ACU defense that finished seventh in the league in scoring defense, allowing 71.3 points per game in the regular season.

Lewis - who finished the season with eight double-doubles - was 19th in the league in scoring (13.2 ppg), fourth in rebounding (7.6 rpg), second in field goal percentage (56.9 percent), 10th in free throw percentage (79.5 percent) and 13th in steals per game (1.5). On Feb. 7 against Nicholls, he scored 18 points and pulled down a career-high 20 rebounds and then followed it up against Incarnate Word on Feb. 10 with 20 points and 17 rebounds. The following Monday, he was voted Southland Conference Player of the Week, the first Wildcat men’s basketball player to earn the award since ACU re-joined the league in 2013-14.

Friday - last year’s’ Southland Conference Freshman of the Year - finished 17th in the league in scoring (13.3 ppg), third in total blocked shots (45) and tied for fifth in blocked shots per game (1.5).

Central Arkansas senior guard Jordan Howard was voted the 2018 Player of the Year. Howard, a senior from Chandler, Ariz., is third in the nation in scoring, averaging 25.8 points per game heading into the conference tournament. In league games this year, Howard led all scorers with a 26.4 point average and shot 91.9 percent from the free-throw line. A career year for Howard, he etched his name into the Southland record book when he became the all-time leader for three-point field goals made. He currently has 377 triples in his four-year career.

Nicholls claims two individual superlatives in Roddy Peters garnering the Newcomer of the Year award while head coach Richie Riley led his squad to a co-regular season championship en route to being named Coach of the Year. Southeastern Louisiana’s Marlain Veal is the Defensive Player of the Year, and Houston Baptist’s David Caraher wins Freshman of the Year.

Howard leads the all-conference first team, earning his third All-Southland selection. Veal, Peters, Lamar’s Colton Weisbrod and Sam Houston State’s Chris Galbreath Jr. round out the first team all-conference selections.

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