HAMMOND — The UL Ragin' Cajuns men's basketball's team may not have enjoyed a winning record this past season, but there's certainly hope for the future.
The evidence of that was made very clear on the 2013 All-Louisiana Men's Basketball team, released Saturday by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Shawn Long was honored as the Freshman of the Year on the team, while sophomore Elfrid Payton was a second-team honoree on the team.
Long, from Morgan City and third-team selection, 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 with a team-high 20-point contests. 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 has had a breakout year, averaging a team-best 15.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.4 steals per game to be 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.
Louisiana Sports Writers Association