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McCallum Leads Men's Basketball Award Winners Release  Bill Potter · @ · March 4, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- Detroit junior Ray McCallum was tabbed the Horizon League Player of the Year, becoming the first player to earn both preseason and postseason honors since 2001 in voting of the League’s coaches, sports information directors and media.

Leading Wright State to the No. 3 seed for the Horizon League Tournament after being picked last in the preseason, Billy Donlon joined former Raiders coaches Brad Brownell (2008) and Paul Biancardi (2004) as Horizon League Coach of the Year.

Youngstown State’s Damian Eargle, who owns the Horizon League record with 293 blocks for his career (162 in conference play), was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year.

For just the second time in the program’s history, Cleveland State boasts the Horizon League’s Newcomer of the Year, freshman Bryn Forbes. Forbes will be the seventh freshman to lead the Vikings in scoring and the first since J’Nathan Bullock in 2005-06.

Valparaiso guard LaVonte Dority did not join the Crusaders until Dec. 15, but made the most of his 22 appearances, averaging 9.5 points per game to earn Sixth Man of the Year accolades.

Picked the Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year in both 2011 and 2012, McCallum led the Horizon League in scoring with 19.2 ppg, ranking 22nd nationally. Running the point for the No. 2-seeded Titans, McCallum handed out 4.7 assists per game while grabbing 5.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals. The junior was the first player since fellow Titan Rashad Phillips in 2000-01 to earn both preseason and postseason Player of the Year.

McCallum was joined on the First Team by his teammate, Nick Minnerath (15.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg), who rebounded from a season-ending knee injury last year to finish fifth in the conference in scoring. The 2012 Player of the Year, Valparaiso’s Ryan Broekhoff (15.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg), returned to the First Team for the second straight year, as did Youngstown State junior Kendrick Perry (16.9 ppg, 2.0 spg). Green Bay sophomore Keifer Sykes (15.4 ppg, 4.2 apg) joined his teammate Alec Brown as Phoenix sophomores to earn First Team All-League honors in just their second year in the League.

The All-League Second Team was packed with upperclassmen. Now a junior, Brown (13.5 ppg, 1.8 bpg) led the team, with Valparaiso’s Kevin Van Wijk (12.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg) beginning a trio of seniors in Ben Averkamp of Loyola and UIC’s Gary Talton. Wright State junior Cole Darling bookended the Second Team.

Van Wijk is currently on pace to set a new single-season Horizon League record with his 69.5-percent field-goal percentage, besting the previous mark of 68.6-percent shooting by Detroit’s Ryvon Covile. Averkamp and Talton each led their squads to their best League finishes in several years, with the Ramblers grabbing their best seed since the 2006-07 season and the Flames notching their highest seed since the 2007-08 campaign. Darling led Wright State in scoring, boosting a team that was picked last in the preseason poll to its best finish since 2009-10.

Forbes led the All-Newcomer selections, joining Damon Stringer (2000) as the only Viking to be named Newcomer of the Year. Green Bay’s do-everythin forward, Jordan Fouse, joined Forbes as freshman selections to the team. Fouse set Green Bay freshman record for rebounds (228) and steals (52), becoming the first freshman to lead the Horizon League in rebounding since Northern Illinois’ T.J. Lux in 1995-96.

Transfers took up the remaining three spots on the All-Newcomer Team, with Milwaukee’s Jordan Aaron, junior Kamren Belin of Youngstown State and UIC senior Josh Crittle earning spots on the team. In his junior year, Aaron was second on Milwaukee in scoring, averaging 14.6 ppg, while Belin posted 10.4 ppg in his first season at Division I. Crittle anchored UIC down low, averaging 9.9 ppg and 5.3 rpg.

The two top blockers in the Horizon League, Eargle and Brown led the All-Defensive Team selections. The pair was joined by teammates, with Perry and Fouse giving Youngstown State and Green Bay two players apiece on the team. Valparaiso senior Erik Buggs rounded out the squad.

The 2013 Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship will tip-off on Tuesday, March 5, with three first round games on campus sites -- No. 9 Milwaukee at No. 4 Green Bay; No. 8 Cleveland State at No. 5 UIC; and No. 7 Loyola at No. 6 Youngstown State. All three will be streamed live on the Horizon League Network.

Top-seeded Valparaiso and No. 2 seed Detroit earned byes into the semifinals, while No. 3 Wright State awaits the winner of the Loyola-Youngstown State game in the second round. Second Round games will be played on Friday, March 8, at the Athletics-Recreation Center in Valparaiso, Ind., with semifinals taking place on Saturday, March 9, at the ARC on ESPNU. The Horizon League title game will be played at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 12, on ESPN. 

Player of the Year
  Ray McCallum, Detroit

Newcomer of the Year
  Bryn Forbes, Cleveland State

Defensive Player of the Year
  Damian Eargle, Youngstown State

Sixth Man of the Year
  LaVonte Dority, Valparaiso

Coach of the Year
  Billy Donlon, Wright State

First Team All-Horizon League
  Ray McCallum, Jr., G............................. Detroit
  Ryan Broekhoff, Sr., F.................... Valparaiso
  Nick Minnerath, Sr., F............................ Detroit
  Kendrick Perry, Jr., G........ Youngstown State
  Keifer Sykes, So., G........................ Green Bay

Second Team All-Horizon League
  Alec Brown, Jr., C............................ Green Bay
  Kevin Van Wijk, Sr., F..................... Valparaiso
  Ben Averkamp, Sr., F............................ Loyola
  Gary Talton, Sr., G....................................... UIC
  Cole Darling, Jr., F....................... Wright State

All-Newcomer Team
  Bryn Forbes, Fr., G................ Cleveland State
  Jordan Fouse, Fr., F........................ Green Bay
  Jordan Aaron, Jr., G....................... Milwaukee
  Kamren Belin, Jr., F........... Youngstown State
  Josh Crittle, Sr., C........................................ UIC

All-Defensive Team
  Damian Eargle, Sr., C....... Youngstown State
  Erik Buggs, Sr. G............................. Valparaiso
  Kendrick Perry, Jr. G......... Youngstown State
  Alec Brown, Jr., C............................ Green Bay
  Jordan Fouse, Fr., F         Green Bay

Tags: Cleveland State - Men's Basketball · Detroit - Men's Basketball · Green Bay - Men's Basketball · Horizon League - Men's Basketball · Loyola - Men's Basketball · Milwaukee - 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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