College Basketball: My 2014 All-Sun Belt Conference Ballot

Texas State senior forward Joel Wright  led his team in scoring and rebounding this year (Photo by Gerald Castillo).

Texas State senior Joel Wright led his team in scoring and rebounding (Photo by Gerald Castillo).

Saturday marked the conclusion of the regular season in the Sun Belt Conference.

As we all know, Georgia State won the title going away and is the No. 1 seed in this week’s conference tournament.

There was little drama the rest of the way as the only seed up for grabs was No. 8, which would go to the winner between Texas State and Troy last Saturday. Just like last Thursday’s game at South Alabama, the Bobcats put up a dud and the Trojans will play in New Orleans.

But what players in the Sun Belt Conference stood out among all the others?

Here is how Daily Record Sports Editor Tyler Mayforth voted for the men.

Coach of the Year
Ron Hunter – Georgia State

Player of the Year
Elfrid Payton – UL Lafayette

Defensive Player of the Year
Manny Atkins – Georgia State

Freshman of the Year
Nick Coppola – UL Monroe

All-SBC First Team
Elfrid Payton – UL Lafayette
R.J. Hunter – Georgia State
Reger Dowell – UT Arlington
Shawn Long – UL Lafayette
Augustine Rubit – South Alabama

All-SBC Second Team
Ryan Harrow – Georgia State
Will Neighbour – UALR
Brandon Edwards – UT Arlington
Tylor Ongwae – UL Monroe
Manny Atkins – Georgia State

Honorable Mention
Kirk Van Slyke – Arkansas State
Joel Wright – Texas State
T.J. Price – Western Kentucky
Josh Hagins – UALR
Melvin Johnson III – Arkansas State

Down the stretch, my biggest question was whether Player of the Year would go to a guy from Georgia (Ryan Harrow/R.J. Hunter) or Louisiana (Elfrid Payton). After looking things over, I eliminated Harrow from the discussion and was left with Hunter and Payton. Hunter had the edge when they went head-to-head, but when it came down to it, Payton impressed me with his play in the last week of the regular season. Payton also finished second in the league in scoring (19.3), first in assists (5.9) and first in steals (2.3).

5 Comments

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5 responses to “College Basketball: My 2014 All-Sun Belt Conference Ballot

  1. Really

    Not having Ryan on the first team all SBC is ridiculous…not having Shawn long for defensive player of the year is ridiculous. Ryan is arguably a top 2-3 player in the conference. GSU was under .500 last yr and added Harrow and dominated the SunBelt. People sometimes look at only numbers but how about how he opened up their offense and allowed players to become better. manny Harris is a better player and putting up better numbers than last year and is arguably a first team talent. RJ is a talented player who actually increased his scoring average even though they added Ryan. Ryan is top 5 in the league on scoring, assist, steals, assist to turnover ratio and free throw pcts. He effects the game in more than one way. Was moved off PG to make room for White who is barely 5’11 and still finished 3rd in assists. So not only has Ryan mad players better, he made the team better and took them from a good team to a great team and they almost broke every damn school record this yr…first sell out crowd in 25yrs and second conference championship in school history….it’s about time people have this kid his respect. He CLEARLY could put up more numbers but puts his team first which has translated well. And if you saw the game with ULL vs GSU…Ryan clearly outplayed Payton and had the game winning assist.

    • Thank you for your comment.

      I completely agree with you about Ryan Harrow being an important part to Georgia State’s success. Chances are that Harrow will be named First Team All-Sun Belt when the league releases its postseason awards, but I just felt Shawn Long and Augustine Rubit edged him for the spot.

      When it comes to Defensive Player of the Year, we were given five names on the ballot. Shawn Long’s name wasn’t included in that quintet.

      • Really

        i appreciate your response. I don’t know how the league leader in blocks and rebounds isn’t on the DPOY ballot but hey, nothing either of us can do about that. I would think Elfid Payton or RJ Hunter would be the favorites for that award. Back to Ryan Harrow…the kid is top 5 in scoring and several other categories (if we are talking numbers), his team was comprised of the same players from last yr and with his addition they go from under .500 to first place. He has scored over 20pts 13 times this yr and over 30 twice. He put up even better numbers vs better competition outside the sunbelt. Arkansas State is a top 4 team who GSU was about to beat without RJ AND it was AT ASU. Ryan scored 8 its in the final 2 minutes of the game and brought his team back to victory. Vs ULL he played well twice and won twice, vs western kentucky he scored 20 and defeated WKU on the road by +20 with several highlights. i think GSU has a good team and i think RJ is a top 4 player in the conference as well. But with TWO NBA PROSPECTS ULL loss 7 games in the sunbelt. Both of those guys are dominant athletically and couldnt even finish 2nd in the sunbelt. As far augustine Rubit…when your team finishes that bad and you aren’t even a top 5 scorer in the conference he shouldn’t be considered for first team. Roger Dowell…I’m sorry you guys get caught up in points wayyyyyyy too much…at least Rubit rebounds and does other things…Roger Dowell gets and takes the most shots in the league and his team isn’t even top 5-6 in the league…he isn’t a first teamer IMO. There are 10 or more guys in this league who wouldn’t put up those numbers and better with that amount of shots. (i.e. brandon edwards, van slyke, manny atkins, melvin johnson i could go on). Payton is gifted athletically but that’s about it…the kid can’t shoot to save his life and averages about 5 turnovers a game (terrible for a PG). Ryan leads the league in assist to turnover ratio and 3rd in assists and is playing most of his time at the SG position to create minutes for White. I’m a facts over fiction guy and if you don’t see how GSU had the SAME team last year and was 15-16 and what they did this yr with the addition of Harrow…i guess your blind. But the kid has the stats that are as good as anyones in the league and has the WINS. RJ is a great player but so is Shawn Long…you could make an argument for POY for both of those guys…to me its Harrow/Long/Hunter for POY. and first team is Harrow, Hunter, Payton, Long and Atkins/Rubit/Dowell

        • You raise a lot of good points.

          The conference asked us to rank players from No. 1 to No. 15 based on where we think they fell. Harrow came in at No. 6 on my ballot, which set him right on the cusp of the First Team and the first guy on the Second Team.

  2. Really

    Ryan Harrow 2nd team? not better than dowell or rubit…I hope you now see why I thought you were crazy

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