The Southland Conference, as part of its year-long 50th Anniversary commemoration, has announced its All-Decade Men’s Basketball Team from the 1970s. The team includes stars from its member institutions from the 1969-70 season through 1979-80.
A total of 20 student-athletes makeup the 1970s All-Decade Team with at least one player from seven different member institutions during that period.
In addition to the selection of the 20 all-decade players, one of the picks, Dwight “Bo” Lamar (1971-73) of Louisiana-Lafayette, was selected as the player of the decade after he was a two-time all-conference selection, the 1972 Southland Conference Player of the Year and a third-round NBA draft pick by the Detroit Pistons. Lamar led the Ragin’ Cajuns to two conference titles, two NCAA tournament appearances and two tournament wins. In 1972, he led the league in scoring with 1,054 points (36.6 points per game), which still ranks as the most points in a single-season in Southland history. Lamar was the conference’s most prolific scorers, holding the conference record for most field goals made in a game (23), season (429) and career (1,445) along with the record for most career points (3,493) and highest scoring average (31.2).
The Columbus, Ohio, native still holds four of the top 10 single-game scoring records and two of the top five single-season scoring records. In the Southland’s record books, Lamar’s name still appears 14 times.
Joining Lamar on the all-1970s team from Louisiana-Lafayette is two-time Southland Player of the Year Andrew Toney (1976-80), a guard from Birmingham, Ala., and Roy Ebron (1971-73), a two-time all-conference center.
Arkansas State is represented by five members during the decade including centers John Belcher (1968-72) and Steve Brooks (1969-74), forward Dan Henderson (1973-77) and guards Allen Pruiett (1969-71) and Dan Scaife (1972-75). Louisiana Tech and McNeese State each have four members on the all-decade team. Mike Green (1971-73), the 1973 Player of the Year, represents the Bulldogs along Mike McConathy (1973-77), the current head coach at Northwestern State, as well as Lanky Wells (1973-77) and Victor King (1975-79). McNeese is headlined by three-time all-conference forward John Rudd (1974-78), Edmond Lawrence (1972-76), David Lawrence (1976-79) and Henry Ray (1972-75). Lamar’s Clarence Kea (1976-80) and Luke Adams (1970-72) also earned all-decade recognition, along with Abilene Christian’s Ronnie Hearne (1968-71) and Texas-Arlington’s Jerry Johnson (1972-75).
The 1970s all-decade team consists of 12 NBA draft picks, including three first-round selections, 10 conference players of the year and four three-time first-team all-conference selections.
Lamar’s Billy Tubbs, who coached the Cardinals from 1976-80, was selected as the head coach of the decade. Tubbs led them to three conference titles and two NCAA tournament appearances. During the two years in the NCAA tournament, Lamar picked up three wins, including a trip to the Sweet 16 in 1980. As the coach at Lamar, Tubbs posted a 75-46 overall recorded with a 31-9 mark in conference play. He would later return to coach at Lamar from 2004-06.
The Southland Conference will continue to recognize All-Decade Teams through the 2000s during the remainder of the current basketball season.
To best assess the candidate pool for the all-decade team, the Southland Conference developed a metric that analyzed numerous elements of a student-athlete’s performance and value within the league at the time. Most notably, the conference honored “real-time” factors such as all-conference selection by coaches and a player’s statistical performance among his peers at the time. Further, other components of selection including a player’s effort toward helping his team win a championship or finish near the top of the conference, whether he earned individual honors from the league, if he participated in postseason tournaments, and if he was drafted by the NBA or ABA at the time.
Southland Conference 1970’s All-Decade Men’s Basketball Team:
|Luke Adams||Lamar||1970-72||F||6-7||LaBelle, Fla.|
|John Belcher||Arkansas State||1968-72||C||6-9||Hot Springs, Ark.|
|Steve Brooks||Arkansas State||1969-74||C||6-9||St. Louis|
|Roy Ebron||La.-Lafayette||1971-73||C||6-9||Norfolk, Va.|
|Mike Green||Louisiana Tech||1971-73||C||6-10||McComb, Miss.|
|Ronnie Hearne||Abilene Christian||1968-71||G||6-3||Millsap, Texas|
|Dan Henderson||Arkansas State||1973-77||F||6-8||Memphis, Tenn.|
|Jerry Johnson||Texas-Arlington||1972-75||F||6-6||Bullard, Texas|
|Clarence Kea||Lamar||1976-80||C||6-6||Wilmington, N.C.|
|Victor King||Louisiana Tech||1975-79||C||6-9||Newellton, La.|
|Dwight “Bo” Lamar||La.-Lafayette||1971-73||G||6-1||Columbus, Ohio|
|David Lawrence||McNeese State||1976-80||C||6-10||Lake Charles, La.|
|Edmond Lawrence||McNeese State||1972-76||C||6-11||Lake Charles, La.|
|Mike McConathy||Louisiana Tech||1973-77||G||6-2||Bossier City, La.|
|Allen Pruiett||Arkansas State||1969-71||G||6-3||Rector, Ark.|
|Henry Ray||McNeese State||1972-75||G||6-3||Alexandria, La.|
|John Rudd||McNeese State||1974-78||F||6-7||DeRidder, La.|
|Don Scaife||Arkansas State||1972-75||G||6-2||Helena, Ark.|
|Andrew Toney||La.-Lafayette||1976-80||G||6-3||Birmingham. Ala.|
|Lanky Wells||Louisiana Tech||1973-77||F||6-6||Little Rock, Ark.|
Player of the Decade: Dwight “Bo” Lamar, La.-Lafayette, 1971-73
Coach of the Decade: Billy Tubbs, Lamar, 1976-80