March 1, 1986
Big Lou Shepherd was a standout for the Bears on the hardwoods, playing for Coach Bill Thomas from 1964 to 1968, starting and lettering for the Bears each of his last three seasons. In the span, Shepherd was a key member of three straight MIAA championship teams as the Bears won a record 29 straight MIAA games in a row during Shepherd’s career. He was the Bears captain as a senior as he led the team in scoring with 18.1 points a game and in field goal accuracy. He earned numerous honors with the Bruins, gaining NABC second team All-American recognition as a senior, earning a spot on the NCAA national all-tournament team in 1967 and on the regional all-tournament team in 1968. He was a two-time MIAA all-conference first team selection and finished his career with 1,009 points, which currently ranks him 13th on the SMSU career scoring list. Shepherd is fifth on the all-time rebound list with 701, ranks ninth in career rebound average at 8.6 a game, and had a single-game rebounding high of 23 in 1966 against Northeast Missouri. The Bears followed their MIAA title with regional tournament appearances in 1966 and 1968 but the Bears were ousted in the regional finals by Abilene Christian in 1966 and by Evansville in 1968. The ’67 team, however, claimed the regional crown and went on to finish second in the nation, losing the title game to Winston-Salem. Shepherd, a native of Washington, D.C., was subsequently drafted by the Los Angeles Stars of the American Basketball Association.