Lamar well represented on 1980s all-decade team
Feb. 27, 2013
BEAUMONT - The latest all-decade men's basketball team announced by the Southland Conference featured seven Lamar University all-time greats from the 1980s and was led by co-head coach of the decade Pat Foster.
Foster, who guided the Cardinals to three Southland titles and six straight postseason tournament appearances, gives Lamar a coach of the decade in each of the three decades released by the league office after Jack Martin was co-head coach of the 1960s and Billy Tubbsrepresented the 1970s.
Foster was named co-head coach of the decade with Andy Russo of Louisiana Tech. The 1984 Southland Conference Coach of the Year, Foster left Lamar with a sparkling 134-49 overall record and a 49-19 mark in conference play. His .732 winning percentage is the best of any Lamar coach.
The 20-man team of the decade featured seven Cardinals. B.B Davis (1977-81), Jerry Everett (1983-85), James Gulley (1984-87), Mike Olliver (1977-81), Kenneth Perkins (1980-84), Lamont Robinson (1981-84) and Tom Sewell (1981-84) were all recognized for their outstanding play.
Olliver, a four-time all-conference performer, is the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,518 career points and his 50-point effort against Portland State stood as Lamar's single-game high for 31 years. The 1981 Southland Conference Player of the Year, Olliver was named a Citizen's Savings Foundation First-Team All-American that same year.
Davis was also a four-time all-conference performer, earning Southland Conference Newcomer of the Year honors in 1978. A two-time USBWA All-District VI honoree, Davis is the only player in Lamar history with over 2,000 career points (2,084) and 1,000 career rebounds (1,122). Davis averaged 17.5 points and 9.4 rebounds per game for his career and ranks second in school history in points, rebounds, field goals made and blocked shots.
Gulley was twice named All-Southland Conference before earning All-American South Conference honors as a senior. A 6-foot-8 forward, Gulley is third all-time in Lamar history in scoring (1,832) and rebounding (967). As a junior, Gulley averaged 19.8 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, and he posted career averages of 16.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per contest.
Sewell played just three seasons for the Cardinals but still put up 1,496 career points. As a senior, Sewell was named the 1984 Southland Conference Player of the Year after averaging 22.9 points per game. Also a first-team all-conference selection as a junior, Sewell posted career averages of 16.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game before becoming a first round pick of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers.
Perkins was a three-time all-conference performer who finished his career with 1,299 points and 912 rebounds. Perkins helped the Cardinals to two NCAA Tournament and two Postseason NIT appearances during his playing career.
Everett played two years for the Cardinals, earning first-team all-conference and Southland Conference Tournament MVP honors as a senior. During his senior campaign, Everett averaged 16.9 points as Lamar advanced to the second round of the Postseason NIT. For his career, Everett averaged 15.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.
Robinson earned Southland Conference Tournament MVP honors as a junior after helping the Cardinals advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they would lose by just two to No. 13 Villanova. Robinson was a first-team all-conference selection as a senior who finished his career with 304 assists and 130 steals.
In addition to the selection of the all-decade players, one of the picks, Joe Dumars (1981-85) of McNeese State, was selected as the 1980s Player of the Decade. He was a four-time first-team all-conference selection, the 1985 Southland Player of the Year, the 1982 Freshman of the Year and a four-time Southland all-tournament team selection. Dumars led the conference in scoring in 1984 and 1985, averaging 26.4 and 25.8 points per game, respectively. He also led the league in free throw percentage in 1985, hitting 85.2 percent of his shots from the line. Dumars' 723 made free throws still ranks as the top career mark in the conference, and his 267 free throws made during the 1984 season is the most by a Southland player in a single season. Dumars still ranks among the top 10 in the Southland in five career categories, including scoring (2,607), scoring average (22.3), field goals made (942), free throws made and free throw percentage (.778).
The Natchitoches, La., native is only one of three Southland men's basketball players to earn first-team all-conference all four seasons, and he's the only league player to earn a spot on the all-tournament team all four years. Dumars was a first-round NBA draft selection in 1985 by the Detroit Pistons, where he went on to six All-Star Game appearances and led his team to a pair of NBA World Championships. Currently the President for Basketball Operations for the Pistons, Dumars was the NBA Finals MVP in 1989, played on the United States' gold-medal winning team at the 1994 World Championships, and was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Joining Dumars on the all-1980s team from McNeese State is three-time, first-team all-conference forward/center Anthony Pullard (1986-90), who also earned conference player of the year honors in 1990. Jerome Batiste, a McNeese forward from 1983-87 and the 1987 conference player of the year, also represents the Cowboys on the all-decade team along with guard Michael Cutright (1985-89), who earned tournament MVP honors in 1989.
Louisiana Tech is represented by five players on the 1980s all-decade team, including three-time all-conference choice Karl Malone, who also took the 1983 Southland Player and Freshman of the Year honors. Malone led the Bulldogs to the Southland Tournament championship and an NCAA first round win in 1984, and followed that in 1985 with a nationally-ranked season and NCAA Sweet Sixteen run as a junior. He was an NBA first-round draft choice by the Utah Jazz in 1985, scoring 36,928 points, still second-best all-time in the NBA. Malone also won gold medals with his United States teammates in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics, and was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2010.
Other Louisiana Tech student-athletes on the all-decade team include forward Robert Godbolt (1983-87), center Willie Simmons (1981-85), guard Wayne Smith (1982-86) and guard Dave Simmons (1977-81), currently the head coach at McNeese State.
Louisiana-Monroe has three representatives on the all-1980s team with guard Arthur Hayes (1982-86), forward Bobby Jenkins (1983-86) and center Michael Saulsberry (1985-88). North Texas' Tony Worrell (1984-88) also earned all-decade recognition.
The 1980s all-decade team consists of seven conference Players of the Year, seven Southland Tournament MVPs, five Freshmen of the Year, and nine players that were drafted into the NBA, including three first-round picks and two second-round selections.
As part of its year-long 50th Anniversary commemoration, the Southland Conference will continue to recognize All-Decade Teams through the 2000s during the remainder of the current basketball season.
To best assess the candidate pool for the all-decade team, the Southland Conference developed a metric that analyzed numerous elements of a student-athlete's performance and value within the league at the time. Most notably, the Conference honored "real-time" factors such as all-conference selection by coaches and a player's statistical performance among his peers at the time. Further, other components of selection including a player's effort toward helping her team win a championship or finish near the top of the conference, whether she earned individual honors from the league and if she participated in postseason tournaments.
Southland Conference 1980's All-Decade Men's Basketball Team
Player of the Decade: Joe Dumars McNeese State 1981-85
Co-Coaches of the Decade: Pat Foster Lamar 1981-86 Andy Russo Louisiana Tech 1980-85