Gary, Thomas garner top awards at UL Basketball Banquet
The first year of the Bob Marlin era officially came to a close last night with a banquet honoring the 2011 Sun Belt Western Division Champions.
Louisiana finished 14-15 on the year, but 11-5 in the Sun Belt West, good enough for a tie for first place with Arkansas State. The Cajuns won their last eleven regular season games.
Freshman J. J. Thomas was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2010-11 team. Thomas was also named the Louisiana "Freshman of the Year" by the Louisiana Sportswriters Association and was named second-team all Sun Belt. He was presented the award by UL President Dr. E. Joseph Savoie.
La'Ryan Gary was named the receipient of the "Beryl Shipley Leadership Award" for his on and off court leadership skills. The award was presented by Coach Shipley's wife Delores and daughter Marilyn.
Other receipients included junior David Perez for Academic Achievement, senior Travis Bureau took home the rebounding award and sophomore guard Raymone Andrews was named the team's best defender.
Karren and Tommy Hays also announced a scholarship endowment for a student-athlete in the college of business. Freshman Bryant Mbamalu was this year's recipient.
All players were presented a team photograph by Cajuns head coach Bob Marlin.
The crowd at the Petroleum Club of Lafayette was also treated to a seventeen minute video highlighting the 2010-11 season and featured highlights from the eleven game winning streak in chronological order.
The Cajuns' staff is currently working on the 2011-12 schedule, which is tenatively scheduled to open on November 18 with a round robin tournament at the Cajundome. Nicholls State, Cal State Fullerton and Houston Baptist are the other participants. The Cajuns are also scheduled to play home games against McNeese State and Central Florida, with road contests at Cleveland State, Kent State, Ole Miss and Lamar. Five more games remain to be scheduled.