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Release  Bill Potter · @ ·

INDIANAPOLIS -- After wrapping its first Horizon League regular season title in 18 years, Green Bay was richly rewarded with postseason awards, as junior Keifer Sykes was picked the Horizon League Player of the Year in voting of the League’s coaches, sports information directors and media.

Joining Sykes as individual award winners were teammate Alec Brown, chosen the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, and Brian Wardle, tabbed the Coach of the Year in the Horizon League.

In its first season in the Horizon League, Oakland boasts the Freshman of the Year in Kahlil Felder while Cleveland State’s Jon Harris was selected the Sixth Man of the Year.

Green Bay waited 18 years for a Horizon League regular season title, and both the player and coach of the year accolades eluded the Phoenix over the same span. In 1996, Jeff Nordgaard collected Player of the Year honors while Mike Heideman was named the Coach of the Year.

Brown, who sits three blocks shy of tying the Horizon League record for career blocks at 309, joins Terry Evans (2008) as Green Bay defensive players of the year.

In his debut season, Felder paced the Horizon League in assists, becoming the first freshman to do so since the 1992-93 season. Felder’s 193 assists and 6.0 assists per game average lead all freshmen nationally.

Harris joined Cleveland State as a transfer in the summer, coming off the bench to average 10.6 points per game while recording an effective field-goal percentage of 63.2, tying for first in the League.

Sykes, named to the Horizon League First Team for the second consecutive year, was the catalyst behind Green Bay’s championship season, averaging 20.4 ppg and handing out 5.0 assists per game. The junior entered the 1,000-point club this year and sits just outside the top 50 in conference history.

The junior was joined on the First Team by his teammate Brown (15.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg), as the 7-1 center finished sixth in the conference in scoring while ranking third in 3-point field goal percentage, connecting at a 44.1-percent clip.

Youngstown State’s Kendrick Perry (20.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg) became the 13th player in Horizon League history to be named to the First Team three times in his career, becoming the first since Butler’s Matt Howard. In his senior campaign, Perry led the conference in scoring while climbing into the top 15 in League history in career points.

Travis Bader, who set the NCAA career 3-point record on Feb. 2, earned First Team recognition after knocking down 137 3-pointers in the regular season, the second-best total in conference history. The Oakland senior finished third in the conference with 20.1 ppg.

Rounding out the First Team was the 2013 Sixth Man of the Year in the Horizon League, Valparaiso’s LaVonte Dority. The leading scorer for Valparaiso, Dority averaged 16.2 ppg in 31 games, ranking fifth in the Horizon League.

The All-League Second Team was led by Cleveland State’s Bryn Forbes and Detroit’s Juwan Howard, Jr. Forbes set a single-season record for the Vikings with 75 3-pointers in the regular season, averaging 15.7 ppg. Howard was fourth the in League with an 18.4 ppg average, bumping up his average to 18.9 ppg in conference play.

Corey Petros controlled the low block for Oakland, leading the Horizon League with an average of 8.2 rebounds per game. The junior was 10th in scoring at 13.4 ppg and fifth with a 57.0-percent mark from the floor, leading the conference in double-doubles.

Two seniors rounded out the Second Team, with Wright State’s AJ Pacher (10.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg) and Milwaukee’s Jordan Aaron (14.2 ppg) joining the squad. Pacher hit 60.0-percent of his attempts from the floor to rank third in the Horizon League, while Aaron helped a resurgent Milwaukee squad more than double its win total from the prior season.

In its first year as an All-Freshman Team, Valparaiso led the way with two selections. Starting all of the Crusaders’ games this year, Alec Peters led all Horizon League freshmen in scoring at 15.0 ppg. Classmate Lexus Williams ran the point for Valpo and was second only to Felder among freshmen with 2.5 apg.

Detroit’s Jarod Williams was third on the Titans in scoring with 7.9 ppg while handing out 1.9 apg. Williams started 28 of the Titans’ 31 games, partnering with Matthew Grant in the conference’s youngest backcourt.

Pat Birt represented UIC on the All-Freshman Team, as the lefty knocked down 44.1-percent of his 3-point attempts in conference play, finding a spot in the Flames’ starting lineup by the end of the season.

Finishing second in the conference in both defensive efficiency (95.5) and opponents’ effective field-goal percentage (45.8), Green Bay put two players on the All-Defensive Team for the second straight year in Brown and Jordan Fouse.

The duo was joined by the League’s steals leader, Duke Mondy, who in leading the conference in steals (3.2 spg), paced three different leagues -- Big East, Summit and Horizon -- in steals during his collegiate career. Mondy’s steals average set a new Horizon League single-season record.

Perry, the Horizon League’s all-time steals leader with 243, earned a place on the All-Defensive Team for the second straight season, while Wright State’s Matt Vest received the final spot on the team.

The 2014 Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship will tip-off on Tuesday, March 4, with three first round games on campus sites -- No. 9 UIC at No. 4 Valparaiso; No. 8 Detroit at No. 5 Milwaukee; and No. 7 Youngstown State at No. 6 Oakland. All three will be streamed live on the Horizon League Network.

Top-seeded Green Bay and No. 2 seed Cleveland State earned byes into the semifinals, while No. 3 Wright State awaits the winner of the Youngstown State-Oakland game in the second round. Second Round games will be played on Friday, March 7, at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis., with semifinals taking place on Saturday, March 8, on ESPNU. The Horizon League title game will be played at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 11, on ESPN.  

2014 Awards Voting
Player of the Year: Keifer Sykes, Green Bay
Freshman of the Year: Kahlil Felder, Oakland
Defensive Player of the Year: Alec Brown, Green Bay
Sixth Man of the Year: Jon Harris, Cleveland State
Coach of the Year: Brian Wardle, Green Bay

All-League Teams
First Team
Keifer Sykes, Jr., G -- Green Bay
Kendrick Perry, Sr., G -- Youngstown State
Alec Brown, Sr., C -- Green Bay
Travis Bader, Sr., G -- Oakland
LaVonte Dority, Sr., G -- Valparaiso

Second Team
Bryn Forbes, So., G -- Cleveland State
Juwan Howard, Jr., Jr., F -- Detroit
Corey Petros, Jr., F -- Oakland
AJ Pacher, Sr., C -- Wright State
Jordan Aaron, Sr., G -- Milwaukee

All-Freshman Team
Kahlil Felder, G -- Oakland
Alec Peters, F -- Valparaiso
Lexus Williams, G -- Valparaiso
Jarod Williams, G -- Detroit
Pat Birt, G -- UIC

All-Defensive Team
Alec Brown, Sr., C -- Green Bay
Jordan Fouse, So., F -- Green Bay
Duke Mondy, Sr., G -- Oakland
Kendrick Perry, Sr., G -- Youngstown State
Matt Vest, Sr., G -- Wright State

Tags: Cleveland State - Men's Basketball · Detroit - Men's Basketball · Green Bay - Men's Basketball · Horizon League - Men's Basketball · Milwaukee - Men's Basketball · Oakland - Men's Basketball · UIC - Men's Basketball · Valparaiso - Men's Basketball · Wright State - Men's Basketball · Youngstown State - Men's Basketball
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