BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Texas Southern University forward Jeremy Combs was named the 2018-19 Southwestern Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Player and Newcomer of the Year. The announcement comes as part of the league’s reveal of its 2018-19 all-conference teams and honorees.
Prairie View A&M’s Dennis Jones won the Defensive Player of the Year honor, Jackson State’s Jayveous McKinnis earned Freshman of the Year accolades, and Prairie View A&M coach Byron Smith was named Coach of the Year. The teams and individual awards were voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.
Combs was second in the league in points (16.9) per game, leading the SWAC in rebounds per game (9.0) and ranking near the top of the conference heap in field-goal percentage (. 601). The Dallas, Texas native recorded 11 double-doubles on the season and earned player of the week honors five times.
Jones led the league in steals at 2.0 and served as a linchpin of an aggressive Panthers defense that led the league in steals per game (8.6) and turnovers per game at (18.1).
McKinnis averaged 8.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and a league-best 2.1 blocked shots per game for the league’s top-ranked scoring defense. A first-team All-SWAC honoree at center, McKinnis shot a conference-best 67.3 percent from the field.
Smith guided the Panthers to their first regular-season championship since 2003, posting a 17-1 record in SWAC play (19-12 SWAC). PVAMU’s 19 wins are the most by the team in this decade. Prairie View A&M’s offense averaged more than 73 points per game, ranking second in the conference.
The entire list of honorees and all-conference selections are listed below.
All-SWAC Men’s Basketball 1st Team:
G — Gary Blackston, Prairie View A&M
G — Martaveous McKnight, UAPB
F — Jeremy Combs, Texas Southern
F — Devonte Patterson, Prairie View A&M
C — Jayveous McKinnis, Jackson State
All-SWAC Men’s Basketball 2nd Team:
G — Ivy Smith Jr., Grambling State
G — Reginald Gee, Alabama State
F — Andre Kennedy, Alabama A&M
F — Chris Howell, Jackson State
C — Emmanuel Ejeh, Mississippi Valley State
Player of the Year/Newcomer of the Year:
Jeremy Combs, Texas Southern
Defensive Player of the Year:
Dennis Jones, Prairie View A&M
Coach of the Year:
Byron Smith, Prairie View A&M
Freshman of the Year:
Jayveous McKinnis, Jackson State