Feb. 26, 2007
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Wright State University senior guard DaShaun Wood gained top honors as the Horizon League announced its men's basketball All-League Teams and specialty award winners Monday (Feb. 26). Wood was named the League Player of the Year, becoming the first player in Raider history to achieve that honor after leading Wright State to the top seed in this week's League Championship.
Regular-season co-champion and 15th-ranked Butler University took the other two main awards, as coach Todd Lickliter garnered Coach of the Year recognition and junior guard Mike Green was tabbed as the League's Newcomer of the Year. All three honors are the result of voting by League head coaches and sports information directors plus selected media representatives from throughout the League.
Wood led the Raiders to a share of the League's regular-season championship (13-3 in loop play) for the first time in WSU's 13-year tenure in the circuit. He averaged a League-best 19.4 points per game in pacing Wright State to a 21-9 overall record that includes the most victories since the program moved to Division I in 1987-88. The senior from Detroit scored 20 or more points 14 times this winter, including a season-high 32 versus Loyola University Chicago on Jan. 10, and 30 in the Raiders' victory over then-ninth-ranked Butler exactly one month later. Wood also leads the League with a rate of 1.90 steals per contest and is fifth with 3.83 assists per outing.
Lickliter won the coaching accolade for the second consecutive year after directing BU to a 13-3 League record as regular-season League co-champions. Lickliter's Bulldogs set a League record with 26 regular-season victories, entering this week's Championship at 26-5 overall after starting the season as the sixth pick in the circuit's preseason poll. Butler's ledger includes the NIT Season Tip-Off title, with triumphs over Indiana University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Tennessee, and Gonzaga University. Lickliter is the first coach to win back-to-back Coach of the Year honors since the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Bruce Pearl in 2001-02 and 2002-03. Ironically, Pearl's current team, Tennessee, was one of Butler's NIT victims in November.
Green has been the floor leader for the Butler team which reached the top ten in the ESPN/USA Today national poll earlier this month. The versatile guard, a transfer from Towson University, ranks 11th on the League charts in scoring (14.5 points per game) and rebounding (5.7 caroms per contest), while his 4.00 assists-per-game norm is third in that category. He has scored at least 13 points in 11 consecutive games entering the tournament, including three with at least 20 markers during that span.
Wood leads the five-player First-Team All-League squad, along with Butler junior guard A.J. Graves, Loyola senior guard Blake Schilb, senior guard Quin Humphrey of Youngstown State University and junior forward Othyus Jeffers of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Wood, Schilb and Humphrey are all repeat selections to the First-Team unit, with Schilb becoming the 11th three-time First-Teamer in League history. He also gained that notice as a sophomore in 2004-05.
Graves was the Most Valuable Player in the NIT Season Tip-Off, paving the way for the Bulldogs' success during the regular season. Graves ranks fourth in the League with a 17.3 points-per-game scoring average, including a loop-leading .954 free-throw percentage (125-of-131). He also has a circuit-best 88 three-point field goals this season, hitting 36.5 percent from behind the arc.
Schilb ranks among the League's top ten in eight different statistical categories, leading the Ramblers with his 16.1 points per game to stand fifth on the loop scoring charts. The League's Preseason Player of the Year, he also ranks second with a rate of 4.21 assists per contests, while his .861 free-throw accuracy is fourth-best in the League, and his norm of 1.31 steals per outing is seventh.
Humphrey has scored 30 or more points three times this season---including 35 in the Penguins' 72-57 victory over top-seeded Wright State last Thursday---and ranks second in the League at 19.1 points per contest. He also is the loop's third-leading rebounder, collecting 7.2 caroms per contest while standing fourth with 1.41 steals per game. His 60 three-point field goals are fourth-best in that department.
Jeffers boasts ten point-rebound "double-doubles" for the Flames, standing second in the League with a rate of 8.9 rebounds per contest. He finished the regular season at 15.7 points per game (ninth-best in the League) and is sixth in field-goal accuracy (.474) and second with 3.37 offensive rebounds per game. The versatile performer also handed out an average of 2.60 assists per game to rank among the League leaders and was third wtih 1.57 steals per contest.
The Second-Team All-League squad includes University of Detroit Mercy junior guard Brandon Cotton, who landed on the second unit for the third consecutive year. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay senior guard Ryan Evanochko was also a repeat selection on the Second Team, joining Green, UW-Green Bay sophomore forward Mike Schachtner, and Detroit senior center Ryvon Covile. The Titan center leads the circuit with 16 double-doubles and ranks among the national leaders with 10.8 rebounds per game.
Joining Green on the All-Newcomer Team are junior forward teammate Pete Campbell, UW-Milwaukee junior forward Paige Paulsen and the Wright State tandem of freshman guards Todd Brown and Vaughn Duggins. Campbell's current .519 mark from three-point range would set a Horizon League record, and includes a .581 mark in loop play. Paulsen averages 11.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, while Brown and Duggins combine for 18 points per outing.
The five-member All-Defensive Team, selected by the League's nine head coaches, features Wood and Covile, plus UIC sophomore center Scott VanderMeer, UW-Green Bay sophomore forward Terry Evans and Loyola senior guard Majak Kou. Wood, Evans, and Kou are repeat selections, with Evans averaging 1.27 blocked shots and 1.73 steals per game for the Phoenix. Kou provides the Ramblers with 1.14 steals and 0.90 blocks from the perimeter, while VanderMeer has already set a League record with 105 blocks (3.50 per game) during the regular season.
The 2007 Horizon League Men's Basketball Championship begins Tuesday (Feb. 27) with first-round games at campus sites. From there, action moves to Dayton, Ohio, and Wright State's Ervin J. Nutter Center for second-round games on Friday (Mar. 2) and semifinals on Saturday (Mar. 3), with Saturday's doubleheader slated for a national audience via ESPNU. The higher-remaining seed after Saturday earns the right to host the championship game next Tuesday (Mar. 6). The Horizon League's automatic entry into the NCAA Tournament is on the line in that (9 p.m. Eastern time) contest, which airs live on ESPN.
2006-07 Horizon League All-League Men's Basketball Teams(listed alphabetically by school)
Player, School (Ht., Yr., Pos)A.J. Graves, Butler (6-1, Jr., G)Othyus Jeffers, UIC (6-5, Jr., F)Blake Schilb, Loyola (6-7, Sr., G)DaShaun Wood, Wright State (5-11, Sr., G)Quin Humphrey, Youngstown State(6-4, Sr., G)
Mike Green, Butler (6-0, Jr., G)Brandon Cotton, Detroit(6-0, Jr., G)Ryvon Covile, Detroit (6-9, Sr., C)Ryan Evanochko, UW-Green Bay (6-2, Sr., G)Mike Schachtner, UW-Green Bay (6-9, So., F)
All-Newcomer TeamPete Campbell, Butler (6-7, Jr., F)Mike Green, Butler (6-0, Jr., G)Paige Paulsen, UW-Milwaukee (6-7, Jr. ,F)Todd Brown, Wright State (6-5, Fr., G)Vaughn Duggins, Wright State (6-3, Fr., G)
All-Defensive TeamRyvon Covile, Detroit (6-9, Sr., C)Scott VanderMeer, UIC (6-11, So., C)Majak Kou, Loyola (6-5, Sr., G)Terry Evans, UW-Green Bay (6-5, So., F)DaShaun Wood, Wright State (5-11, Sr., G)
Player of the Year: DaShaun Wood, Wright StateNewcomer of the Year: Mike Green, ButlerCoach of the Year: Todd Lickliter, Butler
Note: All-League and All-Newcomer awards are voted upon by Horizon League head coaches and sports information directors plus selected media that cover the League; The All-Defensive Team is selected by head coaches only.