Billikens earn A-10 Player of the Year and Coach of the Year honors

Special to the News-DemocratMarch 12, 2014 

— St. Louis University senior guard Jordair Jett has been named the Atlantic 10 Conference men's basketball Player of the Year and Billikens coach Jim Crews was named the league's Coach of the Year for the second straight season.

The Billikens open play at the A-10 Tournament at 11 a.m. Friday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Jett is joined on the A-10 first team by Billikens senior forward Dwayne Evans, who was tabbed first-team All-Conference for a second consecutive year.

Additionally, Evans was named to the All-Academic team for the second time in his career, while SLU senior forward Jake Barnett also landed on the All-Academic squad.

Jett, who also was named to the A-10 All-Defensive team, led the Billikens in scoring in A-10 play with 17 ppg. For the season, he averaged 13.8 ppg and led the team with 4.7 assists per game. Jett is the first Billiken to be named a conference Player of the Year since 1981, when David Burns earned the Metro Conference's top honor.

Jett, a four-time A-10 Player of the Week, was especially valuable in several close Billiken wins. He scored a career-high 31 points against Rhode Island in the A-10 opener, which included a pair of free throws with seven seconds left to lift SLU to the win. Against La Salle, Jett scored 19 second-half points including the game-winning layup to hand the Billikens the win. His free throw with less than a second remaining at George Mason sent the game into overtime, and SLU won in the extra session. Finally, Jett converted a driving layup with three seconds left that gave the Billikens a win at UMass, clinching the A-10 regular-season title outright.

Evans is the first Billiken to collect back-to-back first-team All-Conference honors since Venice High graduate Erwin Claggett in the Great Midwest Conference.

Evans led the team in scoring with 14 ppg and pulled down a team-leading 6.4 rpg. Among active NCAA Division I players, he is 11th in the nation with 918 career rebounds and tied for 18th with 25 career double-doubles.

Evans, a business administration major, is joined on the All-Academic team by Barnett, who already has graduated with a degree in business administration and is working toward an MBA. This is the fourth time in the Billikens' nine years of A-10 membership they have placed two student-athletes on the five-member All-Academic team. During that span, it has happened only one other time - Richmond in 2006-07.

Crews is the second coach in Billiken history to earn two conference Coach of the Year awards at SLU, and the first to do it in consecutive seasons. He is a finalist for the Henry Iba National Coach of the Year Award. In addition to capturing A-10 Coach of the Year honors last season, Crews was named National Coach of the Year by the Sporting News and the NABC.

The Billikens, A-10 regular-season champions for a second straight year, begin play in the A-10 Championship Friday at 11 a.m. as the No. 1 seed. They will take on the winner of Thursday's game between No. 8 La Salle and No. 9 St. Bonaventure. Friday's game will be televised on NBC Sports Network.

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service