RUSTON – Louisiana Tech point guard DaQuan Bracey earned Conference USA Freshman of the Year honors and was selected to the All-Freshman Team in an announcement made of the 2016-17 men’s basketball specialty awards by the league office on Tuesday.
Joining Bracey on the five-person All-Freshman Team was shooting guard Jalen Harris. And one day after being selected Third Team All-CUSA, junior guard Jacobi Boykins was selected to the five-person All-Defensive Team. All awards were voted on by the conference’s head coaches and select media.
Bracey becomes just the fourth Bulldog in program history and the first since Raheem Appleby (2011-12 in the WAC) to be named Freshman of the Year.
The Baltimore, Maryland native showed off his basketball skills early on, posting 12 points, two assists and committing zero turnovers in his first game as a Bulldog which came at South Carolina.
The cat-quick point guard has not slowed down since. He has started the last 25 games for LA Tech, averaging 9.1 points per game with 12 double-digit scoring outputs including a career-high 21 points at Old Dominion.
While the 5-foot-11-inch Bracey can shoot the three and get to the rim when needed, his ability to pass and take care of the basketball is what has excelled this season for the Bulldogs.
His assist/turnover ratio (+3.56) currently ranks first in C-USA and sixth in all of Division I. It is the best of any Bulldog point guard in program history and the second best of any freshman point guard in the country over the last 10 years.
He has already shattered the single season assist record of 142 for a freshman which was previously held by Speedy Smith. He currently has 185 (averaging 6.0 per game) for the season which is the eighth most all-time and just five shy of setting the C-USA freshman record.
His teammate Harris has been instrumental in LA Tech’s as well, averaging 10.8 points per game which is the third most on the team and the second most of any freshman in the league.
Despite missing six games this season to either injury or illness, the Duncanville, Texas native has primarily come off the bench and been a huge offensive spark for the Bulldogs. He has posted 13 double-digit scoring performances and three 20+ scoring efforts.
Most recently, he scored a game-high 20 points while making six straight three-pointers. He has scored at least 10 points in each of the last six games, averaging 14.5 points per game during that span.
Harris has also been money from the foul line where he has missed only six all season, shooting a team-high 89 percent (47-of-53) which currently ranks in the top five in program history.
This marked the first time LA Tech has had players named to the all-freshman team since joining the league in 2013-14. However, the Bulldogs have had a player named to the all-defensive team all four years (no other team has done so).
Boykins continued that trend, leading the conference in steals per game (2.0) and total steals (59). The 59 steals are the eighth most in a single season in program history.
His relentless effort on defense, either in man-to-man, at the top of the 1-3-1 zone or in the full court press, has helped hold teams to an average of 66.2 points per game, including nine opponents that were limited to less than 60.
He recorded at least three steals in nine games this season and had at least five in three games.
The Bulldogs are set to face either the UAB Blazers or the Charlotte 49ers on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. inside Legacy Arena (BJCC) in the quarterfinals of the C-USA Tournament.
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