The Southland Conference was dominated by Stephen F. Austin during the middle of the decade. The Lumberjacks won four straight titles from 2012-13 to 2015-16, going to the NCAA Tournament three times. The program has had some fantastic players. However, other schools have had their own playmakers as well.
Southland Conference 2010s All-Decade Team
Guard – Thomas Walkup, Stephen F. Austin
Thomas Walkup is arguably the best player in the decade, and definitely one of the best to ever play for Stephen F. Austin. He won the player of the year and conference tournament most outstanding player awards twice. He was also twice named to the AP All-American team as an honorable mention. Walkup is the Lumberjacks’ Division I-era leader in six categories, including scoring and rebounding.
For his career, he averaged 12.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. He was also a career 56.8 percent shooter from the field. Walkup is first on career Southland Conference lists for offensive win shares, total win shares, and offensive rating. He led all of Division I in win shares for the 2015-16 season, and his career offensive rating is third all-time in NCAA history. Walkup was on the SFA teams that won four straight regular-season titles and made three NCAAs. He was a big reason why the school won its first two NCAA Tournament games in program history.
Guard – Jordan Howard, Central Arkansas
Jordan Howard played for the Bears from 2014-18. His career started off well, capturing the freshman of the year accolade in 2015. He ended well too, taking home the player of the year as a senior in 2018. Howard is only the third player in Southland Conference history to win both honors during their career. He was a three-time member of the league’s first-team.
Howard averaged 20.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game for his career. He is also a 41.3 percent career shooter from behind the arc. Howard is the conference’s career leader in scoring, scoring average, made threes, points produced, and free throw percentage. He only got to play in the postseason once, guiding Central Arkansas to one CBI.
Guard – Patrick Richard, McNeese State
Patrick Richard played half of his career in this decade from 2010-12. He made the Southland’s first-team twice. He finished his career earning the player of the year award in 2012. During his award-winning season, Richard led the league in scoring, scoring average, and points produced.
For his career, he averaged 17 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. Richard is fifth in league history in points produced per game and seventh in offensive rating. He helped the Cowboys win one East Division title when the conference was still split that way. McNeese played in one CIT and one NIT during his two seasons in the 2010s.
Forward – Jacob Parker, Stephen F. Austin
Jacob Parker is the second Lumberjack to make the team, playing at the program from 2011-15. As a junior, he led the conference in offensive rating as well as offensive, defensive, and total win shares, leading to him winning player of the year. That season also saw Parker named a finalist for the mid-major player of the year award and make the mid-major All-American team.
He averaged 9.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game for his career. In league record books, Parker is ninth in total win shares, 11th in defensive win shares, and 15th in offensive win shares. He was part of three title teams and two NCAA Tournament teams alongside Walkup during his time at Stephen F. Austin.
Forward – Rashawn Thomas, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Rashawn Thomas was a defensive stalwart during his time as an Islander. He made the first-team twice and captured the defensive player of the year award as a junior in 2016. He was a big part of Corpus Christi’s success during the decade.
Thomas averaged 16.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game for his career. He also shot 54.7 percent from the floor. He is the Southland Conference’s career leader in two-point field goals and defensive rebounds. Thomas also sits in the top five in six other categories, including points and rebounds. He led the Islanders to four winning seasons and four postseason appearances, all in the CIT.
Guard – Jalan West, Northwestern State
Jalan West had three tremendous seasons for the Demons. He broke out immediately, being named the freshman of the year in 2013. West followed that up with the defensive player of the year honor in 2014. He made the first-team twice and finished his career as Northwestern State’s career leader in assists and made threes.
For his career, West averaged 16.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. He led the NCAA in assists per game in 2015 and is the Southland Conference’s career leader in assists and assists per game. West sits in the top five in seven other statistical categories as well. He helped the Demons play in one NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately, knee injuries cut his career short, leaving many to wonder what else he could have accomplished.
Guard – John Jordan, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
John Jordan was another crisp passer that played in the decade. He was a two-time member of the conference’s first-team during his career. He managed to break the school’s single-season assists record in every season for the Islanders.
Jordan averaged 12.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 1.4 steals per game for his career. He is tied atop the league’s career leaderboard in assists with Jalan West. Jordan is second in made free throws and also sits in the top five in points produced, assist percentage, and assists per game. He was part of two CIT teams while at Corpus Christi.
Guard – Marlain Veal, Southeastern Louisiana
Marlain Veal played for Southeastern Louisiana from 2015-19. He made the league’s first-team twice and was known for his stellar defense. Veal won the defensive player of the year award as a junior in 2018, the first to do so in program history. He left as the Lions’ career leader in assists and steals.
For his career, Veal averaged 12.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. He is third in Southland Conference history in assists and fourth in points produced. He is also in the top ten in assists per game and assist percentage. Veal helped Southeastern Louisiana win one regular-season title and play in one NIT.
Forward – Taylor Smith, Stephen F. Austin
Taylor Smith played two seasons for the Lumberjacks after transferring from the community college level. He made an instant impact and was a big part of turning the program into a league power. Smith won player and defensive player of the year as a senior in 2013. He led the NCAA in field goal shooting that year, going 69.4 percent from the field.
Smith averaged 12.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game for his career. His two-point field goal percentage is tops in league history, and his career defensive rating (78.2) is the best in NCAA history. He also sits in the top five in player efficiency rating, defensive rebounding percentage, and total rebounding percentage. Smith was part of the first of those four straight regular-season titles, playing in the NIT as a senior.
Forward – Kevon Harris, Stephen F. Austin
Kevon Harris is the only player to make it that played this past season. He capped off his senior campaign being named the player of the year in 2020. Harris was a big reason why the Lumberjacks knocked off top-ranked Duke in November, scoring 26 points in the overtime victory. He finishes his career as SFA’s career Division I-era scoring leader.
Harris averaged 14.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game for his career. He finished in the top 15 in Southland Conference history in eight statistical categories, including points and win shares. Harris helped the Lumberjacks win one title and play in one NCAA Tournament. Stephen F. Austin looked poised to make a second appearance this season before COVID-19.