MBB: Willie Brand named SLC All-1990s
March 4, 2013
FRISCO, Texas - The Southland Conference, as part of its year-long 50th Anniversary commemoration, has announced its All-Decade Men's Basketball Team from the 1990s. A total of 21 student-athletes make up the 1990s All-Decade Team with at least one player from eight different member institutions during that period.
UT Arlington guard Willie Brand named to the elite squad. Brand is the Mavericks' all-time leading scorer, having totaled 1,907 points from 1987-91. He's the only men's basketball player to have his number retired (No. 22) by UT Arlington.
In addition to the selection of the 20 all-decade players, one of the picks, Reggie Jackson (1991-95) of Nicholls State was selected as the player of the decade after he became only the conference's third four-time first-team all-conference selection. The Baker, La., native, was the 1995 Southland Conference Player of the Year and was the Conference Freshman of the Year in 1992. He led the Colonels to their first of two championships as a senior in 1995, the same season Nicholls made its first of two trips to the NCAA tournament. He led the conference in scoring with 21.6 points per game in 1995 and led the league in rebounding in 1992 and 1993 with 11.1 and 12.5 rebounds per game, respectively. Jackson finished his career as the school's leader with 1,271 career rebounds and as the career leader with a 58.1 percent field goal percentage. His scoring average of 19.3 points per game ranked second at Nicholls. He is one of only three Colonels to score more than 2,000 career points, ending his career with 2,124 points. Of his 110 career games, he made 106 starts.
Jackson still ranks among the conference's top-10 players in six different career statistics. His 1,271 rebounds still rank second, while he ranks sixth in rebounding average (11.6), field goal percentage (.581) and free throws (521). He also ranks ninth in scoring (2,124) and field goals (806).
Joining Jackson on the all-1990s team from Nicholls are three-time first-team all-conference forward Kenderick Franklin (1994-98), guard Gerard King (1991-95) and forward Jason McCutcheon (1997-99), both first-team all-conference selections. Nicholls also won the regular season and conference tournament championships in 1998, making two appearances in the NCAA tournament.
Louisiana-Monroe led all teams with seven members during the decade including guards Larry Carr (1993-95), Carlos Funchess (1989-91), Anthony Jones (1987-91), Paul Marshall (1993-96) and Fred Thompson (1988-90) and forwards Ryan Stuart (1991-93) and Mike Smith (1998-2000). Texas State had three members on the all-decade team including guard Donte Mathis (1996-99), the 1999 Player of the Year, forward Lynwood Wade (1992-94) and center Jeff Foster (1996-99), who was selected in the first round of the 1999 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors and traded to the Indiana Pacers, where he played for 13 years. McNeese State and Texas-San Antonio each placed two players on the all-decade team. Forward Rosell Ellis (1995-97), the 1997 Player of the Year, and guard Demond Mallet (1996-2001), the 2001 Player of the Year, represent McNeese State, while the Roadrunners are represented by guards Marlon Anderson (1994-96) and Roderic Hall (1996-98), the 1998 Player of the Year.
The 1990s all-decade team is rounded out by Northwestern State forward Eric Kubel (1990-94), the 1994 Player of the Year, North Texas forward Jesse Ratliff (1990-94) and Brand (1987-91).
Louisiana-Monroe's Mike Vining, who coached the Warhawks from 1981-2005, was selected as the head coach of the decade. Vining led ULM to seven regular-season and six tournament championships. During his 24 season he became the winningest coach in school history with a 401-303 record and was named the Southland Conference Coach of the year four times, including three times during the 1990s. ULM was 201-124 during the decade and won six regular-season titles and made five NCAA tournament appearances. Under Vining, five Warhawks were named Southland Player of the Year, 22 were named all-conference selections and 14 players earned all-tournament honors in the 1990s. ULM was dominant in the first four years of the 1990s, going 55-9 in conference play with three regular-season and four tournament championships between 1990-93. Vining is a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame, the ULM Sports Hall of Fame and the Southland Conference Hall of Honor.
The Southland Conference has previously announced the All-Decade Teams in the 1960, 1970 and 1980s and will recognize the All-Decade Team for the 2000s later this week.
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 1990s All-Decade Men's Basketball Team
Player of the Decade:
Reggie Jackson, Nicholls State (1991-95)
Coach of the Decade:
Mike Vining, Louisiana-Monroe