Elfrid Payton Earns Two More Basketball Awards - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Elfrid Payton Earns Two More Basketball Awards

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Two more preseason honors came Elfrid Payton's way this week as he was named to the preseason Mid-Major All-America first team by NBCSports.com and was selected for the preseason watch list for the Bob Cousy Award.

The Bob Cousy Award is presented to the nation's top collegiate point guard by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Earlier this month, Payton was also tabbed to the Lou Henson All-America team, which honors the nation's top mid-major players and is presented by CollegeInsider.com.

"These are two really big honors for Elfrid," Louisiana head coach Bob Marlin said. "He continues to garner recognition from the basketball world and deserves everything that he gets.

"With the start of the season two weeks away, our focus continues to be on getting ready for the year. With all five of our starters back, including Elfrid, we are eager to get started," Marlin added.

Payton is coming off of a record-setting sophomore campaign that saw him become the only player in the nation to average 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals per game. He averaged a team-high 15.9 points and 5.5 assists and 2.4 steals per game, ranking second with 5.6 rebounds en route to earning first team All-Sun Belt, first team NABC All-District 24 and second team All-Louisiana honors.

Payton finished the year leading the Sun Belt Conference in both steals and assists, ranking 12th nationally in steals and 38th in assists. He was also fourth in the league in scoring and 18th in rebounds.

A starter in all 33 games, Payton ranks third in school history with 80 steals last year while his 181 assists were fourth-best. With two full seasons left to play, he already ranks 18th all-time with 117 steals and 278 assists.

Payton was one of 47 players, and the only one from the Sun Belt, named to the Cousy Award watch list. Additional players can be added during the year but the list will be trimmed to 20 in February and to five finalists in March. The winner will be announced on the Thursday of Final Four week.

Payton, the only junior on the NBC.com first team, was joined by Indiana State guard Jake Odum and forwards Cleanthony Early (Wichita State), Augustine Rubit (South Alabama) and Jerrelle Benimone (Towson). Georgia State's R.J. Hunter was named to the second team.

The Ragin' Cajuns open the 2013-14 season at home against Louisiana College on Saturday, Nov. 9. Season tickets are available by contacting the Cajundome ticket office at (337) 265-2357 or at RaginCajuns.com.

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