TOP PLAYERS

With the 2004-05 sports year behind us, Tiger Rag names our top male and female athletes as well as top coach and newcomer.

MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

 

Brandon Bass (Basketball) – Bass averaged 17.1 point and 9.1 rebounds per game in leading the Tigers to the SEC Western Division title. The Baton Rouge native became the first player since Shaquille O'neal (1991, 92) to earn outright SEC Player of the Year honors. (Stromile Swift shared the award with Vanderbilt's Dan Langhey in 2000.) Known for his soft shooting touch from the perimeter as well as his dominating presence inside, Bass was known as a tenacious rebounder but also as an excellent free throw shooter. Bass' legacy at LSU will be tainted a bit as he decided to throw his hat into the NBA ring following his sophomore season. At any rate, Bass finished his LSU career with 890 points in 59 games (all starts), 15.1 points per game average. He averaged 8.2 rebounds over the two years and ranks third all-time in blocks with a total of 104.

 

Runners up:

Marcus Spears (Sr. Football) – A consensus all-American in 2004, Spears was a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award, Lott Trophy and the Lombardi Award. In a four-year career, the Baton Rouge native appeared in 50 games, starting 38, and finished with 152 tackles, 19 sacks and 34.5 tackles for losses. He was drafted in the first round (20th pick) by the Dallas Cowboys.

 

Ryan Patterson (Sr. Baseball) – Led LSU by batting .369 (92-for-249) on the year with 23 doubles, two triples, 20 homers, 74 runs and 56 RBI. Patterson was voted a first team all-American by a variety of organizations and was runner up for SEC Player of the Year.

 

Ken Skupski (Soph. Tennis) – Named Louisiana Player of the Year, he notched a 24-13 record, including 11 wins over ranked opponents and teamed with Mark Growcutt on an all-American doubles team.

 

 

FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

 

Seimone Augustus (Jr. Basketball) – The consensus National Player of the Year, Augustus finished the year averaging 20.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. She helped lead the Lady Tigers to a 33-3 overall record, a second straight trip to the NCAA Final Four and the school's first Southeastern Conference regular season title. The Baton Rouge native captured every national honor including the John R. Wooden Award, the State Farm Wade Trophy, the Naismith Award and the National Player of the Year honors from the Associated Press, the United States Basketball Writers Association as well as being voted the nation's top collegiate female basketball player by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program sponsored by Honda.

 

Runners up:

April Burkholder (Jr. Gymnastics) – Already the most decorated gymnast in LSU history, April Burkholder had another superb season being named an all-American as well as SEC Gymnast of the Year. Burkholder help lead the Tigers to an NCAA regional championship as well as the program's first-ever No. 1 ranking.

 

Temeka Johnson (Sr. Basketball) – Johnson will go down as one of the most celebrated point guards in SEC women's basketball history. In helping lead the Lady Tigers to a 33-3 record and their second straight Final Four appearance, Johnson averaged 10.4 points and was second in the nation with 7.7 assists per game. Johnson also became the SEC's career assist leader and finished her career ranked fifth in NCAA history in assists.

 

Brooke Shelton (Sr. Golf)Shelton finished the 2005 season with a final stroke average of 74.89, the fifth best in the 26-year history of the program. Shelton leaves her mark on the top in season (34) and career (116) rounds played and also her finish at the NCAA Tournament gave her six top 10s this season and her 12th top 10 at LSU.

 

 

COACH OF THE YEAR

 

Pokey Chatman (Basketball) – The SEC Coach of the Year, Chatman, in her first year as head coach, led the Lady Tigers to the best record in school history (33-3), the program' first outright SEC regular season as well as a second straight berth in the NCAA Final Four. She was named the National Coach of the Year by the United States Basketball Writers Association, Naismith and the WBCA and was selected as an assistant for the 2005 USA Basketball World University Games team.

 

Runners up:

Nick Saban (Football) – A year after leading the Tigers to the program's first national title in 45 years, fifth-year coach Nick Saban had LSU back in a New Year's Bowl game for the fourth straight season. Leading the Tigers to a 9-3 overall record and a berth in the CapitalOne Bowl, Saban left LSU to take the job as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. In his career in Baton Rouge, Saban compiled a 48-16 overall record, one national championship, two SEC title and five straight bowl games.

 

John Brady (Basketball) – Picked third in the SEC Western Division in the preseason, John Brady led his LSU Tigers to the divisional title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. After opening the season 6-5, the Tigers put together a sparkling run through the remainder of the regular season finishing the season with a 14-5 tally to complete the year with a 20-10 record.

 

D-D Breaux (Gymnastics) – In a 28-year career at LSU, D-D Breaux's gymnasts have always been good, but in 2005 the Tigers finally reached number one. For the first time in the program's history, LSU topped the polls for a number of weeks. The Tigers finished second at the SEC Championships behind eventual national champion Georgia and fell a spot short of the elusive Super Six.

 

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR

 

Glen Davis (Basketball) – Voted the SEC's Freshman of the Year, Glen Davis made quite a splash on the SEC basketball scene in 2004-05. At 6-9, 315 pounds, the Baton Rouge native combined with SEC Player of the Year Brandon Bass to form one of the nation's most dominant low-post duo. Davis averaged 13.1 points per game, 8.7 rebounds per game and 1.3 blocks per game in his rookie year at LSU.

 

Runners up:

Sylvia Fowles (Basketball) – The Lady Tigers may have had Seimone Augustus and Temeka Johnson, but the key difference in LSU's SEC championship team was the presence of 6-5 center Sylvia Fowles. A freshman from Miami, Fowles brought a whole new dimension to the Lady Tigers' game. Fowles averaged 12.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots per game.

 

Chris Jackson (Baseball) – Not a stranger on the football field as LSU's place kicker, Chris Jackson showed off his baseball abilities providing a spark for the Tigers early in the SEC schedule. Jackson was inserted into the lineup at third base and started the last 28 games of the season. Jackson batted .305 with one home run and 17 RBIs.

 

Claude Wroten (Football) – After a slow start, Wroten, a junior college transfer, grew into one of the most ferocious defensive tackles in the SEC. Wroten logged 41 tackles in his first season with LSU and collected five sacks and 11 tackles for a loss in being named an all-SEC second team pick.

 

Beck Troutman (Golf) – Troutman played in nine tournaments for the Tigers this season with a 73.92 stroke average in 27 rounds of competition, including 11 rounds at par or better. He has also earned two top-20 finishes to go along with his win in the Spring Invitational and ranks as one of the top freshmen in the SEC.

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