What's up in local sports?
Former Miami Hurricanes top assistant Eric Konkol was introduced Monday as the new head basketball coach of the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, taking the reins from Mike White, now the head coach at Florida. Konkol spent the last four seasons with the Canes before finishing as Tech athletic director Tommy McClelland's top choice to helm the ship in Ruston. Tech offered Konkol a five-year, $2 million contract with bonuses to be added in.
C.E. Byrd standout and recent graduate Chad Lott chose Rice as his collegiate destination, taking his 23 points per game and 12 rebounds an outing to the Owls. Lott received interest from numerous schools but the academic excellence of Rice, along with the Owls up-tempo style of play under coach Mike Rhoades proved to be the tipping points. Lott credited Rice's persistence in the recruitment process didn't hurt. Lott told the Shreveport Times the school had been after him since his sophomore year with the Yellow Jackets.
Northwestern State's slugging left-fielder Cort Brinson was named the Hitter of the Year in the Southland Conference to go along with receiving first-team all-Southland Conference honors. The Demons finished second in the league during the regular season and begin Southland Conference tourney play Wednesday at noon against Houston Baptist.
LSU racked up several post-season honors Monday, including head coach Paul Mainieri nabbing the Coach of the Year award and Alex Lange grabbing the league's freshman of the year award. In addition to his individual award, the undefeated Lange also earned first-team all-SEC honors, joining his battery-mate, catcher Kade Scivique; shortstop Alex Bregman, outfielder Andrew Stevenson and third baseman Connor Hale. Arkansas' Andrew Benintendi earned Player of the Year honors while Vanderbilt ace Carson Fulmer took home the SEC Pitcher of the Year award.
The SEC baseball tournament gets underway today in Hoover, Al. with four games. Top-seeded and top-ranked LSU plays tomorrow at 4:30 pm against the winner of today's Kentucky-Auburn game. Arkansas battles Tennessee in the last game of today's single-elimination first round.