FRISCO, Texas (Press Release)- For the first time in his collegiate career, Stephen F. Austin men’s basketball sophomore TJ Holyfield earned some all-league accolades as the product of Albuquerque, N.M., was named an All-Southland Conference Second Team performer. The Southland Conference unveiled its list of all-league players and major award winners for the 2016-17 season via a press release issued Monday morning.
Playing out of Albuquerque, N.M., Holyfield wrapped up his second regular season in SFA colors as the ‘Jacks’ leading scorer and rebounder. Holyfield averaged 11.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game through SFA’s 30-game regular season slate and those numbers were good for the 24th-highest scoring average and the seventh-best rebounding average in the 13-team Southland Conference. The sophomore hit double-digits in the scoring column in 21 games and has put in at least 12 points in nine of his last 11 outings.
Just five players in the Southland Conference bettered Holyfield’s 54-percent shooting clip from the field and the sophomore continued to be a reliable low-post defender for the ‘Jacks. Holyfield led the team with 37 blocked shots and averaged 1.3 per game - the sixth-highest average in the league. Those 37 rejections represent the 10th-most in a single season in program history and for his career Holyfield has accumulated 87 blocks - the fifth-most among all players who have played for the ‘Jacks.
Holyfield posted double-doubles in seven of the 29 games he took part in through the 2016-17 regular season with his most recent coming against Northwestern State last Thursday (March 2). In that tilt, Holyfield tied his career high in scoring by dropping in 21 points and hauled in 16 rebounds - the most in a single game by an SFA player since Taylor Smith amassed 18 on Jan. 30, 2013, in a league victory at McNeese.
Among all NCAA Division I men’s basketball players, Holyfield ranks 138th in terms of blocked shots per game and 113th in double-doubles (seven). With Holyfield’s inclusion on the All-Southland Conference Second Team, SFA has now had a player earn all-league accolades in each of the last 17 seasons.
Holyfield and the rest of the ‘Jacks are locked in as the number-three seed for the 2017 Southland Conference Tournament and the team will begin its run for a fourth-straight league tournament crown and NCAA Tournament appearance on Thursday night at the Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy, Texas. In their opening round game, the ‘Jacks will face the winner of the Southeastern Louisiana/Lamar first-round matchup in the quarterfinal round at 7:30 p.m. The game will be streamed on ESPN3.