Banks, Beltran earn LABC top honors

Southern’s Roman Banks and Derick Beltran picked up two of the Louisiana Association of Basketball Coaches’ top awards for the 2012-13 basketball season, the association announced Monday.

Banks was named the LABC major-college coach of the year, while Beltran earned the award for major-college player of the year.

Banks and Beltran helped lead Southern to its first Southwestern Athletic Conference championship since 2006, its first 20-win season since 1999 and a scare of No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament.

Beltran, a 6-foot-4 senior guard, averaged 16 points and 4.4 rebounds. He scored in double figures in 29 games.

Banks, in his second season, led Southern to its most wins (23) since the 1989-90 season.

Beltran is the first Southern player to win the state’s major-college player of the year award.

Also honored by the LABC were Baton Rouge Community College coach Ricky Wilson and freshman guard /forward Jeffrey Walker.

Wilson was named the state’s junior-college coach of the year after guiding the Bears to a 17-14 mark in his second season. Walker was named the junior-college player of the year after posting averages of 17.1 points and 10.3 rebounds.

Awards will be presented May 4 during the annual LABC awards banquet at the Embassy Suites Hotel.