May 7, 2014
RUSTON - Two days after being named by ESPN as a top five returning point guard and passer for 2014-15, the global sports network also recognized Louisiana Tech's Kenneth Smith as one of the nation's top five lockdown defenders.
"Speedy Smith is a pest, and that's exactly how LA Tech head coach Michael White likes it," said ESPN Insider Fran Fraschilla. "With most of the Bulldogs' key players returning, Smith will be the catalyst for White's pressure defense again next season."
The St. Petersburg, Fla. native was named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year and was a member of the Lefty Dreisell Defensive All-America team for his performance past year.
He spearheaded an elite defensive squad, tallying a steal in every single game en route to shattering the program record for most steals in a single season with 90. The previous record was 69 set by Willie Bland in 1984-85.
Eight of the 90 swipes came in one contest by harassing C-USA foe Middle Tennessee which also set a school record. He finished with an average of 2.50 steals per game, ranking ninth in the country for the senior-to-be.
The team as a whole forced at least 15 turnovers in 24 of the 37 games last season, winning 23 of those.
The other lockdown defenders included Briante Weber (VCU), Delon Wright (Utah), Shannon Scott (Ohio State) and T.J. McConnell (Arizona).
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