April 8, 2012
RUSTON - Louisiana Tech forward Whitney Frazier was named the state Freshman of the Year and seniors Jasmine Bendolph and Shantale Bramble-Donaldson were both voted to the all-state team by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
LSU forward LaSondra Barrett and coach Nikki Caldwell were named the LSWA State Player of the Year and Coach of the Year while LSU-Shreveport forward Sharde Henry was voted the Newcomer of the Year in a vote of the state sports information directors and media members.
Frazier earned the freshman of the year honor after starting 26 games this season and averaging 9.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 42 percent from the field and 79 percent from the free throw line. She scored a career-high 25 points in a win over Utah State, becoming the first LA Tech freshman to score 25 or more points in a game since former Kodak All-American Tamicha Jackson in 1996-97.
Frazier also earned honorable mention all-state honors.
Barrett was joined on the LSWA first team by McNeese State guard Caitlyn Baggett (14.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 4.2 apg), Tulane guard Olivia Grayson (14.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.5 apg), Loyola guard Keiva Council (22.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 3.5 apg) and Nicholls State guard Sumar Leslie (15.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.5 apg.).
The second team was comprised of Bendolph (10.5 ppg, 5.6 apg, 3.6 rpg), McNeese State guard Ashlyn Baggett (15.7 ppg, 2.6 apg, 2.3 rpg), LSU-Shreveport forward Sharde Henry (14.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg), LSU guard Adrienne Webb (10.1 ppg, 3.6 rpg) and Tulane center Brett Benzio (9.5 ppg, 9.2 rpg).
Bendolph averaged 10.6 points and a state best 5.6 assists while shooting 40 percent from the field, 70 percent from the free throw line and 53-of-139 from the three-point line. She earned Western Athletic Conference all-second team honors as well while becoming only the fifth Lady Techster to ever record more than 500 career assists.
Bramble-Donaldson led Louisiana Tech in both scoring and rebounding this season, averaging 11.1 points and 8.1 rebounds a contest. She earned second team all-WAC honors as well while registering 21 double figure scoring games and 10 double doubles on the season.
Barrett edged Council by four votes for the state player of the year after leading the LSU Tigers back to the NCAA Tournament. The senior averaged 12.5 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game this year while earning first team all-Southeastern Conference accolades. She was also named to the SEC all-tournament team and was named a State Farm Region III All-American.
Both the state coach of the year and freshman of the year voting was decided by a single tally as Caldwell edged McNeese State coach Brooke Williams and Frazier edged Tulane freshman Danielle Blagg.
In her first season at LSU, Caldwell guided the team to the NCAA Tournament and helped LSU reach the SEC Tournament championship game for the first time since 2008. Despite losing its only point guard to a season-ending injury, Caldwell's Tigers recorded a six-game SEC winning streak and a fourth-place finish in the regular season standings. Caldwell became just the second coach in SEC history to guide their team to the SEC Tournament title game in their first year.
Henry claimed the state's newcomer of the year award after helping lead the Lady Pilots to a second place finish in the RRAC. She averaged 14.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game and recorded seven double doubles on the season. Henry was named an NAIA honorable mention All-American and the RRAC Newcomer of the Year.
Five players from across the state also earned honorable mention honors, including Northwestern State's Jordi James and Trudy Armstead, Louisiana Tech's Frazier, Tulane's Blagg and Southeastern Louisiana's Kelli Jenkins.