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Southland Conference preview: Jalan West headlines the conference awards watch

The 24 year-old is our Southland preseason player of the year.

Northwestern State v Florida Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

There are several players in the Southland Conference who could make their own case for Player of the Year.

Jordan Howard is the league’s best three-point shooter, Colton Weisbrod is a well-rounded and skilled forward, and T.J. Holyfield will be the on-court driver for the machine that is Stephen F. Austin.

Some fresh faces will be mixed-in as well, including a handful of transfers like Brandon Hutton and Tevon Saddler, and some decent recruits.

They’ll all get attention and make some headlines this year, but for now, the preseason player of the year goes to the 24 year-old from Northwestern State.

Player of the Year:

Jalan West, Northwestern State

The last time Jalan West was healthy, he was an all-Southland first-teamer, an All-Southland Defensive Team selection, and he led the NCAA in assists. Two years later, he’s still in Natchitoches and is looking to help the Demons prove some folks wrong. He’s a great passer, but capable of scoring in bunches too. Since the start of his sophomore season, he’s scored 25 points or more in 20 games. West already owns several Northwestern State records, but could take more this season.

All-Conference First Team:

Ehab Amin, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Amin led the NCAA in steals last season and helped lead the Islanders to the CIT title game. He’s a decent scorer too, notching 16.9 points per game a season ago. Amin is the league’s best perimeter defender, and might be its best NBA prospect.

Colton Weisbrod, Lamar

College hoops magazine Lindy’s tabbed Weisbrod as its preseason Southland Player of the Year. If he has a solid season and leads Lamar to the NCAA Tournament, he could take it home. The 6’5 forward who came to Lamar after a season at New Orleans led the team in scoring and rebounding last year with marks of 15.1 points and 8.1 rebounds per game.

Jordan Howard, Central Arkansas

The 5’11 guard from Chandler, Arizona ranked seventh in all of Division I last season with a three-point shooting percentage of 44.5. That mark was better than what Bryce Alford and Malik Monk put up. The Bears weren’t good last year, but Howard might be able to carry them to a spot in the Southland tournament.

Jalan West, Northwestern State

See above. Did I mention he’s 24-years-old?

T.J. Holyfield, Stephen F. Austin

As a sophomore, Holyfield led the Lumberjacks in scoring and rebounding and made the all-conference Second Team. He should be better in year three, after he notched seven double-double’s last season and saw increases in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks per game. Holyfield also shot 33 percent from deep last year, a number SFA fans hope increases.

All-Conference Second Team:

Jalone Friday, Abilene Christian
Marlain Veal, Southeastern Louisiana
Leon Gilmore, Stephen F. Austin
Jalin Hart, Incarnate Word
Nick Garth, Lamar

Newcomers to watch:

Brandon Hutton, Northwestern State
Tevon Saddler, Nicholls
S.K. Shittu, Central Arkansas
David Caraher, Houston Baptist
Lamont Berzat, New Orleans