NSU’s Lane is first-team Southland All-Academic pick

While Ishmael Lane was performing at extraordinary levels for Northwestern State during the 2018-19 basketball season, the Demons’ senior star was also doing excellent work academically.

Wednesday, Lane added another honor to his collection, being tabbed as a first-team Academic All-Southland Conference selection. The senior communications major from Port Allen owns a 3.07 cumulative grade point average and is on pace to graduate in May.

At the season’s end, he was chosen first-team All-Southland and the league’s Defensive Player of the Year for his on-court exploits, and last week added acclaim from the National Association of Basketball Coaches as the leading vote-getter on its All-District 23 team.

Joining Lane on the Academic All-Southland first team announced Wednesday were Jaren Lewis of Abilene Christian, Jeremiah Jefferson from Nicholls, Central Arkansas’ Hayden Koval and Oliver Lynch-Daniels of Houston Baptist. Second team members were Ezekiel Charles and Scott Plaisance of New Orleans, HBU’s Ian DuBose, ACU’s Hayden Farquar, and Kareem South from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Nominees must own cumulative grade point averages of at least 3.0. Academic All-District/All-American selections and first team all-conference athletes who meet all-academic nomination criteria are automatically named first team All-Academic. Voting was done by head coaches, academic advisors and sports information directors at the league’s 13 member institutions.

Lane, a 6-8 senior forward/center from Port Allen, averaged 15 points and a conference-leading 11.3 rebounds per game in the 18-game Southland schedule. He posted seven double-doubles in a row from Jan. 19-Feb. 9, a string that topped NCAA Division I at that time, and had 11 overall in 2018-19, 26 in his career.

He led the league in blocked shots (69), including a conference-best eight stops against New Orleans on Feb. 6 when he nearly had the fifth triple-double in school history, posting 19 points and 15 rebounds, including a 16-foot jumper at the buzzer to force overtime.

Lane’s overall season averages were 13.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. He sank 50 percent of his shots, including 17 of 65 3-pointers, and made 61 percent at the free throw line. Lane averaged 1.4 assists and nearly one steal.

Lane finished ranked in NSU’s top 10 of three career statistics. His 1,467 points (12.5 career average) stand ninth all-time in Demon history, while his 842 rebounds are eighth and his 169 blocked shots are third.

In each of his four seasons, Lane led NSU in rebounding, blocks and shooting percentage while starting 114 of 117 games, all 31 as a senior. He finished with a career 52.6 percent shooting rate, including 36 3-pointers for a career 32 percent average. He was a 62.5 percent shooter on free throws.