Saint Louis senior guard Javon Bess was voted the Atlantic 10 Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year and second-team All-Conference, and sophomore forward Hasahn French was named third-team All-Conference and to the league’s All-Defensive team, the A-10 announced today.
Bess is the first Billiken in school history to be named A-10 Defensive Player of the Year. French joins Bess on the All-Defensive team, making SLU the only school with two players on the five-man unit.
Bess leads the Billikens in scoring with 15.2 ppg. He has drained a team-leading 60 3-pointers and shoots 80 percent from the charity stripe (121-of-151).
Defensively, Bess is tasked with guarding the opposition’s top perimeter player night in and night out. Of the 31 players he has guarded this year, he has held 22 below their scoring average. Collectively, those opponents averaged just 11.5 ppg and shot just 35 percent from the field in games against the Billikens.
French is second in the A-10 in rebounding (8.4 rpg) and third in blocked shots (1.8 bpg). He scores 9.2 ppg (10.9 ppg in conference games only). French has a team-leading nine double-doubles on the season, and with one more double-double he will become the second player in school history (Anthony Bonner) with 10 or more double-doubles in a season.
Bess and French are the first All-Conference selections for the Billikens since the 2013-14 season.
The Billikens are the No. 6 seed in the A-10 Championship, being held this week at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Billikens begin play in the tourney on Thursday night, when they face the winner of Wednesday’s matchup between #11 Richmond and #14 Fordham.