Three Bulldogs Honored with Specialty Awards

Kenneth 'Speedy' Smith
 
Kenneth 'Speedy' Smith
 

March 11, 2014

RUSTON - Yesterday, Kenneth Smith was named to the first team All-Conference USA. Today the league announced the Louisiana Tech point guard as a member of the All-Defensive team and the Defensive Player of the Year.

Joining Smith on the All-Defensive team was fellow teammate Michale Kyser. This is the second straight year the two Bulldogs were honored with this award as both claimed two of the five spots last season while in the Western Athletic Conference.

Rounding out the honorees for the regular season co-champions and top-seeded LA Tech was Kenyon McNeail who earned the Sixth Player of the Year.

Smith led the league in steals with an average of 2.60 per game which also ranks seventh in the nation. His relentless effort on defense frustrated several teams, six of which were held to 50 points or less this season.

In the home finale at the Thomas Assembly Center on Feb. 27, the junior accumulated a program record and C-USA game high eight steals in the 55-39 win over Middle Tennessee.

In the process of setting the record that Thursday night, he also set the program record for most steals in a single season. With postseason still left, the St. Petersburg, Fla. native has tallied the sixth most swipes in the nation (78).

He recorded at least three steals in 12 games this season and at least one in all 31 games.

While Smith is at the head of the defense, Kyser is in the paint protecting the rim to the tune of 94 blocks, a single season program record.

The Lancaster, Texas native led LA Tech in rebounding (6.5) and blocks (3.13) per game. He also led the league in blocks, ranking 10th nationally in that category.

The junior had a career-high nine blocks which was a league game high and was the eighth most in a single game this season in Division I. He also swatted away eight balls versus Middle Tennessee.

Kyser pulled down at least 10 rebounds in 10 games this season, posting three double-doubles in the process with two of them coming in back-to-back contests in the first weekend of C-USA play.

The third Bulldog honoree, Kenyon McNeail, averaged the most points per game (10.6) in his four-year career this season despite having zero starts and playing just 21.7 minutes per game.

The senior came off the bench to register 17 double-digit scoring games, including three of 20-plus points while leading the team in scoring five times.

A native of Conway, Ark., he ranked seventh in C-USA in three-point field goal percentage (38.9) and fifth in three-point field goals made per game (2.26), both of which are team-highs.

Seven times this season McNeail drained at least four three's and made a season-high five in three C-USA games.

All awards were voted on by the conference's head coaches and select media.

For complete coverage of Bulldog Basketball, please follow @LATechHoops on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at www.LATechSports.com.

2013-14 CONFERENCE USA ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM

Marquan Botley, Florida Atlantic, G, 5-9, 160, Plano, Texas

Kareem Canty, Marshall, G, 6-1, 180, Harlem, N.Y.

Ryan Taylor, Marshall, F, 6-5, 227, Indianapolis, Ind.

Sean Obi, Rice, F, 6-9, 265, Kaduna, Nigeria

Jonathan Stark, Tulane, G, 6-0, 160, Munford, Tenn.

Vince Hunter, UTEP, F, 6-8, 200, Detroit, Mich.

2013-14 CONFERENCE USA FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR

Vince Hunter, UTEP, F, 6-8, 200, Detroit, Mich.

2013-14 CONFERENCE USA ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM

Pierriá Henry, Charlotte, Jr., 6-4, 188, G, Charleston, W.Va.

Michale Kyser, Louisiana Tech, Jr., 6-9, 205, F, Lancaster, Texas

Kenneth "Speedy" Smith, Louisiana Tech, Jr., 6-3, 180, G, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Tweety Knight, Middle Tennessee, Sr., 6-1, 190, G, Rentz, Ga.

Julian Washburn, UTEP, F, 6-7, 205, So., Duncanville, Texas

2013-14 CONFERENCE USA DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Kenneth "Speedy" Smith, Louisiana Tech, Jr., 6-3, 180, G, St. Petersburg, Fla.

2013-14 CONFERENCE USA NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR

Chad Frazier, UAB, Jr., 6-4, 190, G, Charlotte, N.C.

2013-14 CONFERENCE USA SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR

Kenyon McNeail, Louisiana Tech, Sr., 6-1, 190, G, Conway, Ark.