NATCHITOCHES — Northwestern State junior Jalan West, a former Bossier High star, has been named to the All-Southland Conference men’s basketball first team for the second straight year.
A 5-foot-10 guard, West ranks in the top 40 of five key NCAA statistics: scoring (25th, 19.2 points per game), assists per game (second, 7.5), steals per game (2.24, 14th), assist-turnover ratio (26th, plus 2.6), free throw percentage (40th, 85.7) and is 77th in 3-point field goals per game (2.5).
With his 33-point performance in the regular-season finale against New Orleans, West moved into seventh on the career scoring list with 1,484 points and moved into position to become the first Demon ever to post two 600-point seasons. He has 558 and could threaten the landmark this week, or if NSU advances to a postseason tournament. West recently broke the school career assists record (has 580) and is third all-time in steals (218, 47 away from the record).
West, who was named to the All-Defensive team for the third straight year, finished second in Player of the Year voting to Thomas Walkup of league champ Southland Conference.
Walkup, a junior swingman, averaged 15.5 points and 6.5 rebounds.
Sophomore swingman Zeek Woodley, who ranks second in the nation is scoring at 22.4 points per game, was named to the second team.
NSU (18-11, 13-5) finished tied for third in the SLC. The Demons are seeded fourth in the conference tournament and play a quarterfinal game Thursday at 5 against either fifth-seeded McNeese or No. 8 Southeastern Louisiana, who meet today at 5.
Regardless of the all-conference voting, NSU coach Mike McConathy believes he has the best player in the league in West and one of the best in Woodley.
“We’re the No. 4 seed. We’ve got two really, really good players, as good as anybody in the Southland Conference,” he said. “We’re frustrated because we don’t believe they got their due, so we need to go and prove some people wrong, and you do that by winning games and doing some things they don’t think you can do. Both of them pretty much score at will, so maybe that’s defending and rebounding, but most of all, it’s winning.
“We’re very blessed to have them on the team. They’re exceptional talents, they love to compete, and all season long they’ve been the centerpieces of a team that has won 18 games.”
— Staff Reports