From SFA Athletics
KANSAS CITY, Mo.- Stephen F. Austin was well-represented on the National Association of Baseball Coaches’ (NABC) Division I All-District 23 Teams as senior Thomas Walkup was penciled in as a repeat selection to All-District 23 First Team. Fellow final-year man Clide Geffrard earned a spot on the NABC All-District 23 Second Team and former SFA head coach Brad Underwood was named the NABC District 23 Coach of the Year for the third-straight season.
Already the first back-to-back Southland Conference Player of the Year in over two decades, the only three-time Southland Conference Tournament MVP in history of the league and a 2015-16 All-SLC First Team as well as an SLC All-Defensive Team selection, Walkup cemented his rightful place as one of the best players in history of the league by leading the Lumberjacks on a magnificent run to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.
The senior out of Pasadena, Texas, led the ‘Jacks in scoring (18.1 points per game), rebounding (6.9 per game), assists (4.5 per game) and steals (2.1 per game) while ranking among the top five performers in the Southland Conference in no fewer than seven statistical categories.
Walkup conjured up Stephen F. Austin’s first triple-double in 43 years in an 84-58 victory at Incarnate Word on Feb. 29. His 12 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists also represented the first triple-double by a Southland Conference student-athlete since 2011 and he became just the second player in the past 20 years to submit a performance of at least 10 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists and five steals in a game.
Through the course of his final act in purple and white, Walkup made a number of impressive revisions to SFA’s record book, becoming the program’s all-time leader in scoring, rebounding, field goals made and wins. Following the season’s end, Walkup also set new single-season records for points, field goal made, free throws made, and steals. Of his seven double-doubles in 2015-16, four occurred on the road.
Geffrard showed vast improvements across the board in his final collegiate campaign. SFA’s first option off of the bench, the Pompano Beach, Fla., product took part in all 34 of the ‘Jacks on-court engagements through 2015-16 and finished as the squad’s third-leading scorer with 13.3 points per game despite making just a pair of appearances in the starting lineup.
The forward pumped in at least 10 points in all but six of the ‘Jacks 34 tilts and seven of the eight outings of 20 or more points in his career occurred during the 2015-16 season. He collected a pair of double-doubles, too, and reset his career high in scoring with a 23-point outburst in a home win over Houston Baptist on Feb. 27 – the night that the ‘Jacks clinched the program’s fourth-straight Southland Conference regular season crown.
On the glass, Geffrard finished second among the SFA ranks with a rebounding average of 5.9 per game. He finished the season with a field goal percentage of .490 and an accuracy rate from downtown of 34.6-percent.
All Underwood did during his third and final season at the helm of the program was ensure that the 2015-16 version of ‘Jacks would take their place alongside the greatest teams in the history of the Southland Conference. Underwood led SFA to a 28-6 record that included an 18-0 SLC mark.
Stephen F. Austin was the only team out of the 351 NCAA Division I men’s basketball squads in the nation that wrapped up the regular season without a conference loss. As a direct result of that feat, Underwood joined an exclusive group that includes former head coaches Bob Knight (Indiana), John Chaney (Temple) and Jerry Tarkanian (UNLV) as the only head men’s basketball coach in NCAA history to go 18-0 in a conference schedule of 18 or more games on more than one occasion.
In history, Underwood’s 89 wins through his first three seasons as a head coach are tied for the most all-time with former Butler head man Brad Stevens and Underwood’s win percentage of .864 through that same span is tied for the fourth-best all-time.
The former SFA head man captured his third-straight Southland Conference Coach of the Year honor – something never before done in the history of the league and helped the ‘Jacks reel off 21 consecutive victories which was the lengthiest active winning streak in the nation for a good portion of the season.
Wrapping up his third season as an NCAA Division I head coach with a record of 89-14, Underwood helped the ‘Jacks reign as the NCAA leaders in such statistical categories as scoring margin (+16.9), turnover margin (+6.5) and turnovers forced per game (18.56).
NABC District 23 First Team
Thomas Walkup, Stephen F. Austin
Zeek Woodley, Northwestern State
Rashawn Thomas, Texas A&M-CC
Anthony Odunsi, Houston Baptist
Jordan Howard, Central Arkansas
Derrick Griffin, Texas Southern
Adrian Rodgers, Southern
Ladarius Tabb, Alabama A&M
Aurimas Majauskas, Sam Houston State
Clide Geffrard, Stephen F. Austin
NABC District 23 Coach of the Year
Brad Underwood, Stephen F. Austin