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SWAC Notebook

March 18, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments

Southwestern Athletic Conference Notebook

by Kendrick Marshall

The wild and wacky SWAC season has concluded in 2003 and it was a roller coaster ride to say the least. There were huge surprises and major disappointments along the way. Prairie View, who was picked to finish near the bottom of the conference captured its first SWAC regular season championship for the first time since in 1962. A coaching legend in Dave Whitney roamed the bench for the last time in his 30 year coaching career in the SWAC title game. Another coach in the person of JSU coach Andy Stoglin probably coached his last game as the Tigers blew a 18-point lead to eventual champion Texas southern in the quarterfinal round on Friday.

Speaking of Texas Southern, they won their first ever championship in Birmingham, Alabama as they defeated Alcorn State 77-68. With the win Texas Southern will play UNC-Ashville in the NCAA “play in game” to determine who will square off against number one seed Texas Feb. 21 in the first round. Texas southern made their way through the field by winning close games and overcoming all odds to be crowned champion. In the quarterfinal round against JSU, they would overcome a 18-point lead and win the game 68-66. In the semi-final round they would square off against another team from the state of Mississippi in the team of MVSU. Once again they would have to pull a game out of the fire as they held on to win 73-72. Next would be the championship game, and along with that a match up against defending conference champion Alcorn State. In this hard fought battle TSU would hold off the Braves and will themselves to a 77-68 championship clincher. En route to the SWAC championship, senior guard Ra’Kim Hollis netted 18 points and nine assists, landing him Most Valuable Player and All-Tournament honors.

Now that the season has officially concluded, its time now to honor the player who stood above the rest and made this a very exciting season in the SWAC. Now without any further delay i give you the 2002-03 SWAC conference team.

First Team

G – Rak’Kim Hollis, Texas Southern (Jr. 6-3, 190, Tyler TX)
G – Tim Henderson, Jackson State (Sr., 6-5, 200, Jackson, MS)
F – F – Attarius Norwood, Mississippi Valley State (Jr., 6-8, 230, Crystal Springs, MS)
F – Cliff Walker, Jackson State (Sr., 6-5, 250, Meridian, MS)
C – William McDonald, Grambling State (Sr., 6-9, 220, Pontiac, MI)

Player of the Year

Grambling State Freshman Guard Byron Rush


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