Pilgrim Named Louisiana's Top Newcomer, Gatlin Picks Up Third-Team Honors
April 12, 2009
Shreveport, La. - After helping lead his team to their fourth straight Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament championship in his first season as a Pilot, LSUS junior Mike Pilgrim was named the state's top newcomer by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Pilgrim was a mid-season transfer and the junior from Cincinnati set a single season LSUS record for shooting percentage, making 64.2 percent of his shots. He was named a first-team Gulf Coast Athletic Conference selection, averaging 14.0 points and 7.5 rebounds for the Pilots, who again went to the NAIA National Tournament for the fifth straight year.
LSUS' Chris Gatlin, a senior from Baton Rouge, was named to the All-Louisiana Third Team after leading the Pilots in scoring this past season. Gatlin averaged 16.5 points/game, while shooting 43% from the three-point line. He also received All-GCAC and honorable mention All-American honors following his stellar senior season for the Pilots.
In addition to his Newcomer of the Year award, Pilgrim also picked up honorable mention All-Louisiana accolades.
LSU senior guard Marcus Thornton, the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year after leading the Tigers to the SEC regular season championship and the NCAA Tournament, was a unanimous choice as Louisiana Player of the Year.
Thornton’s coach, Trent Johnson, won Coach of the Year honors in his first year at LSU.
Nicholls’ Fred Hunter added the state Freshman of the Year to his Southland Conference honor, while Malcolm Thomas of Louisiana-Monroe tied Pilgrim for the state Newcomer of the Year honor for those athletes playing their first year of basketball in the state.
The team was selected following nominations from the four-year basketball playing institutions in the state and then a panel of LSWA members were asked to select their top 15 players with the top player receiving 15 points down to one. From those point totals, three-five member teams were selected and then members picked the top choice for the special awards.