The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is the other HBCU league in Division I, along with the MEAC. Texas Southern dominated the decade, winning five titles and making four NCAA appearances. However, other teams have had their own share of playmakers. The conference has particularly seen its fair share of explosive scorers.
Southwestern Athletic Conference 2010s All-Decade Team
Guard – Jamel Waters, Alabama State
Jamel Waters played for Alabama State from 2012-16. He made the SWAC first-team twice during his career. He became the 14th player in school history to reach at least 1,500 points in his career.
Waters averaged 12.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.8 steals per game for his career. He is the conference’s career leader in points produced. He also sits in the top five in offensive rating, assists, assists per game, and assist percentage. Waters helped the Hornets make one CIT.
Guard – Ivy Smith Jr., Grambling
Ivy Smith Jr. just finished his career at Grambling, playing from 2016-20. He was a two-time member of the league’s first-team, including this past season. He led the Southwestern Athletic Conference in steals and assists for the 2019-20 season.
For his career, Smith averaged 11.5 points, three rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. He is second in SWAC history for career points produced and third in offensive rating. Smith also sits in the top ten in seven other career categories. He led the Tigers to one regular-season title and one CIT appearance.
Guard – Martaveous McKnight, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Martaveous McKnight played two season for the Golden Lions after transferring from the community college level. He made an instant impact, winning newcomer and player of the year in 2018, his first season in the league. He made the first-team twice and led the SWAC in scoring as a senior in 2018-19.
McKnight averaged 19.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.7 steals per game for his career. In just two seasons of play, he managed to finish fifth on the league’s career player efficiency rating and tenth in points produced. Unfortunately, he did not make any postseason appearances with Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Forward – Derrick Griffin, Texas Southern
Derrick Griffin only played one full season for the Tigers, but it was a banner one. He almost swept every award for the 2015-16 season. Griffin was the newcomer, defensive player, and player of the year for that season. During his first year with Texas Southern, he set the conference’s single-season record for consecutive games with a double-double (12) and double-doubles overall (17).
For his career, Griffin averaged 12.7 points, 11 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. He also shot 64.7 percent from the field for his career. In his award-winning season, he led the Southwestern Athletic Conference in 17 statistical categories. Griffin also played football for the Tigers, and ended his second season playing basketball early to focus on the NFL Draft.
Forward – Aaric Murray, Texas Southern
Aaric Murray played just one season for Texas Southern after spending prior years at La Salle and West Virginia. However, he made the most of it, leading the league in scoring and blocks in 2013-14. Murray’s outstanding season landed him on the first-team and as the SWAC’s defensive player and player of the year.
Murray averaged 21.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game that season. The highlight of his season came when he went off for 48 points in a game against Temple. He led the league in 15 categories overall that season and helped the Tigers get to the NCAA Tournament.
Guard – Malcolm Miller, Southern
Malcolm Miller played two season at Southern from 2012-14. He captured the newcomer of the year award in 2013, leading the conference in 11 categories, including three-point percentage, that year. Miller also made the first-team in each of his seasons in the SWAC.
He averaged 14.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game for his career. He was also a 42.1 percent career shooter from beyond the arc. Miller finished his career as the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s career leader in defensive rating and player efficiency rating. He helped the Jaguars win one regular-season title and make one NCAA appearance.
Guard – Omar Strong, Texas Southern
Omar Strong played two seasons for Texas Southern from 2011-13. He was spectacular as a senior, making the first-team and winning the player of the year award for the 2012-13 season. Strong was a sharpshooter from the three-point line, leading the league in three-point shooting both seasons of his career.
For his career, he averaged 15.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. Strong is third in conference history in three-point percentage. During his first season, he made an instant impact, leading the SWAC in five advanced statistic categories. Strong was a member of one regular-season title team while with the Tigers.
Guard – Zach Lofton, Texas Southern
Zach Lofton played just one season for the Tigers, coming from Illinois State. As other Tigers before him on this team, he also dominated, earning newcomer and player of the year for the 2016-17 season.
Lofton averaged 16.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game for the season. He scored 20 or more points in 14 contests and led the SWAC in points, made free throws, and points produced during his one season in the league. Lofton helped Texas Southern win the regular-season title and play in the NCAA Tournament before deciding to transfer to New Mexico State.
Forward – Jeremy Combs, Texas Southern
Jeremy Combs is yet another in a long line of transfers to Texas Southern to make the team, coming from LSU as a graduate transfer. In deja vu fashion, he captured newcomer and player of the year for the 2018-19 season. Combs led the NCAA in offensive rebounds for that season and shot 60.2 percent from the field.
He averaged 17.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game during his award-winning season. Combs ended up leading the Southwestern Athletic Conference in 17 categories for the 2018-19 season. The Tigers made it to the CIT semifinals with his help.
Forward – Devonte Patterson, Prairie View A&M
Devonte Patterson is the other player to make the team who just finished his career. He played two seasons for the Panthers after transferring from the community college ranks. He made the first-team in both of his seasons and took him this past year’s player of the year award.
For his career, Patterson averaged 14.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, and two assists per game. During his award-winning season, he was in the top ten in the SWAC in five categories, including field goal percentage and assists. Patterson helped Prairie View win two regular-season titles and make one NCAA appearance, with a second one seeming likely this past season before the cancellation of the tournament.