Five Kats named to All-Academic squad

Five Sam Houston State University players have been named to the 10-member 2006 Hibernia Bank Academic All-Southland Conference men’s basketball team.

Ryan Bright and Aaron Wade are first team selections while Ryan Griffin, Jeremy Thomas and Shamir McDaniel were selected to the second team.

Never before in the history of the Southland Conference All-Academic squad has one team accounted for five of the 10 spots on the squad.

“This is just a terrific honor for these young men,” Sam Houston State head coach Bob Marlin said. “They’re outstanding individuals and a pleasure to coach. And the great thing is, all five return for next season.

The all-academic team honors student-athletes who were selected all-conference and/or named as a national all-academic recipient this year while also earning at least a 3.0 GPA. Remaining spots on the all-academic teams are then voted on by the head coaches, sports information directors and academic/compliance administrators. Student-athletes must have completed one full academic year at the nominating institution and participated in at least 50 percent of the team’s competition.

Overall grade point averages and majors for the five Academic All-Southland Bearkats are Bright 3.60 majoring in kinesiology; Wade 3.29 majoring in finance; Griffin 3.96 majoring in general business; McDaniel 3.29 majoring in marketing; and Thomas 3.57 majoring in health.

Bright, Wade and McDaniel were starters for the Bearkats while Thomas and Griffin were front line reserves.

The quintet led Sam Houston State to a runner-up Southland Conference men’s basketball finish, the finals of the Southland post-season tournament and the quarterfinals of the Preseason NIT.

An honorable-mention All-SLC pick in 2006, Bright was fourth in the SLC in rebounding with 7.9 per game and 12th in steals at 1.6.

Wade stepped into a starting role at forward at mid-season and led the Bearkats to eight victories in a 10-game stretch run as SHSU finished second in the SLC standings. Wade averaged 6.1 points and 3.0 rebounds.

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