LSU’s Eason named All-SEC first team, Sixth Man of Year; Days, Murray also honored

PHOTO BY CHANSEY AUGUSTINE

LSU sophomore Tari Eason was named the Southeastern Conference’s Sixth Man of the Year in the annual voting of league awards by the 14 coaches announced on Tuesday.

Eason was also named first team All-SEC, while senior Darius Days earned second team All-SEC honors. Tiger Brandon Murray was on the league’s All-Freshman team.

LSU opens play in the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Thursday at approximately 1 p.m. CT in Tampa at Amalie Arena against the winner of Wednesday night’s first-round game between Missouri and Ole Miss.

Eason, who transferred to LSU from Cincinnati after his freshman season, started four games (all during the time Xavier Pinson was hurt and LSU was having to use different lineups) but he was at his best when he could come off the bench and provide and energy and scoring punch that LSU needed.

He had 12 games of 20 points or more with eight of those in SEC play, including six-of-the-last-eight-games (25 at A&M, 23 versus Mississippi State, 21 versus UGA, 21 at South Carolina, 24 at Arkansas and 20 versus Alabama). He posted seven double doubles this year, including four 20 point-10 rebound games.

Eason averaged 16.9 points and 6.9 rebounds with 2.0 steals per game. Eason is sixth in the league in scoring and eighth in rebounds. He has made 26 treys and is shooting 78.7 percent from the line. He averaged 17.33 points in the SEC games, making 50 percent of his field goals.

Days has won 88 games so far in his four years at LSU and his 23 career double doubles ranks third among active players. He scored in double figures in each of the last 11 games since his return from a minor ankle injury that kept him out of the Texas A&M game in late January. In the last three games, he has scored 53 points with 18 rebounds, six steals and has made 19-of-32 field goals, including 8-of-14 from the arc.

Days is 12th in career rebounds at LSU with 801 and 31st in scoring with 1,261 points.  He is presently fifth all-time at LSU with 182 three-point makes. This season he has averaged 13.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game.

Earlier this year, he became the first LSU player with three straight games of 10 or more rebounds since Emmitt Williams in Dec. 2019. His 18 rebounds vs. Louisiana Tech in December was the most by an LSU player since Ben Simmons had 18 in 2016.

Murray earned all-freshman honors after averaging 10.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. He averaged 11.0 points in league play.

The freshman from Baltimore had a season best 21 points against Texas A&M (1/26) as one of his 15 double figure scoring games. He had 17 points with two assists and three steals in the season finale versus Alabama (3/6), hitting 7-of-14 field goal attempts with two treys. For the season, he hit 37 three-pointers for the Tigers.

SEC MEN’S BASKETBALL AWARDS

First Team

JD Notae, Arkansas

Jaylin Williams, Arkansas

Walker Kessler, Auburn

Jabari Smith, Auburn

Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky

Tari Eason, LSU

Iverson Molinar, Mississippi State

Santiago Vescovi, Tennessee

Scotty Pippen Jr., Vanderbilt

Second Team

Jaden Shackelford, Alabama

Colin Castleton, Florida

TyTy Washington Jr., Kentucky

Sahvir Wheeler, Kentucky

Darius Days, LSU

Kobe Brown, Missouri

Kennedy Chandler, Tennessee

Quenton Jackson, Texas A&M

All-Freshman Team

Charles Bediako, Alabama

JD Davison, Alabama

Jabari Smith, Auburn

TyTy Washington Jr., Kentucky

Brandon Murray, LSU

Devin Carter, South Carolina

Kennedy Chandler, Tennessee

Zakai Zeigler, Tennessee

All-Defensive Team

Keon Ellis, Alabama

Jaylin Williams, Arkansas

Walker Kessler, Auburn

Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky

Zakai Zeigler, Tennessee

Coach of the Year: Bruce Pearl, Auburn

Player of the Year: Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Jordan Wright, Vanderbilt

Freshman of the Year: Jabari Smith, Auburn

Sixth-Man of the Year: Tari Eason, LSU

Defensive Player of the Year: Walker Kessler, Auburn

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