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Five @UTTylerMBB players earn ASC postseason honors

Monday, February 27, 2017
by Wes Bloomquist || wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

TYLER – UT Tyler senior Jordan Francis earned American Southwest Conference East Division Newcomer of the Year and East Division First-Team while Melvin Anthony, Emeka Obukwelu, Josh Tatum and Skyler Hadden were honored with ASC Men's Basketball All-Conference selections following a vote of the league’s head coaches.

Francis led the Patriots with 15.1 points per game in his first season with the Patriots after transferring from Richland College with one year of eligibility remaining. A DeSoto native, Francis made the most of his one season with the Patriots where he also averaged 4.9 rebounds per game and had 37 assists and 28 steals. Francis led the Patriots with 31 points last Thursday in the ASC Championship quarterfinals in their 87-84 loss to Concordia after also having a 38-point performance against LeTourneau and scoring in double-figures in 17 of 23 games played this season.

“What made Jordan such a valuable piece to our team’s success this year is that he is an ‘everyday guy’,” UT Tyler head coach Jamon Copeland said. “He is the same person, student, teammate, worker, no matter what the circumstances are. He had a great year for us, we could count on his consistency to show up and produce night in and night out. Offensively, he is such a tough matchup for opponents. If he gets you on his hip it is game over. Jordan was our go to guy offensively, when we needed someone to make a play we put the ball in his hands.”

Anthony averaged 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game in his junior season and was named to the ASC East Division Second-Team. A junior from Killeen, Anthony led the Patriots with five double-doubles in his second season with the team and led the team with 22 blocked shots and 30 steals. Anthony scored a season-best 30 points in a game where he also had 15 rebounds in a win over Hardin-Simmons and finished the season with a team-leading 33 3-pointers.

“Melvin’s versatility is what makes him unique,” Copeland said. “He is a forward that has the skill set of a guard and the ability to guard all five positions on the court.  If Melvin has a great offseason by really committing to improving his game and getting stronger, there is no reason he shouldn’t be one of the best players in the league next year.”

Obukwelu earned ASC East Division All-Freshman Team after playing in all 26 games as a freshman where he averaged 6.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. A Plano native, Obukwelu started 14 games and scored a career-high 20 points against Ozarks where he went 8-for-8 from the field and hit all four of his shots from the free-throw line. He finished the season leading the Patriots with a 60.3 shooting percentage and had 99 rebounds in his first season in Tyler.

“I am really excited to see Emeka’s growth from his freshman to his sophomore season,” Copeland said. “He is a great communicator on defense and has the unique ability to finish with both hands in the post.  If he improves his strength and athleticism, he could be one of the best forwards in our league for the next three seasons.”

Tatum was honored with ASC East Division All-Defensive Team after finishing the season with 27 steals. A point guard from Keller, Tatum led the Patriots with 77 assists and would also contribute 6.9 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. Tatum established a new single-game program record with 12 assists in a win over Belhaven and had a season-best four steals against Pacific and Hardin-Simmons.

“Josh did a great job defensively for us this year and gives opponents a lot of problems when he is guarding them because of his quickness and length for his position,” Copeland said.

Hadden earned an ASC East Division Honorable Mention selection after averaging 7.8 points and 3.0 rebounds per game. A junior from Waco, Hadden scored a season-high 25 points in the regular season against Concordia and finished his first season at UT Tyler with 10 double-digit scoring performances.

“Skyler really came on in the second half of the season,” Copeland said. “Once he figured out how hard you have to compete on every possession his minutes and production mirrored that.  He has great positional length and is very skilled for his size.”

UT Tyler finished the 2016-17 with a 15-11 overall record and were 8-8 in ASC play. The Patriots finished the year averaging 79.8 points per game and were 10-3 at home.

“Our depth was our biggest strength as a team this year,” Copeland said. “There was not much difference in talent between all of our guys on the roster. We might be the only team in the country to have 10 different players lead the team in scoring for a game throughout the year. Also, our depth made our practices extremely competitive, with each drill typically coming down to the last possession to determine the winner.  That competiveness in practice really prepares you for ASC play, where every game is decided by one or two possessions regardless of who you are playing.”

Men’s Basketball All-Conference Team

Name

Cl.

Pos.

School

Jeff Martin

Sr.

G

LeTourneau

Nathaniel Jack

Sr.

F

Hardin-Simmons

Joe Neal

So.

G/F

Concordia Texas

Caleb Thomasson

Jr.

F

Sul Ross State

Khyce Randall

Jr.

G

Howard Payne

East Division

Player of the Year – Jeff Martin, LeTourneau
Freshman of the Year – Dimitrius Underwood, UT Dallas
Newcomer of the Year – Jordan Francis, UT Tyler
Defensive Player of the Year – Reagan Keogh, UT Dallas
Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year – Josh Ferrell, Univ. of Ozarks
Coach of the Year – Dan Miller, LeTourneau

First Team

Name

Cl.

Pos.

School

Jeff Martin2

Sr.

G

LeTourneau

Caleb Banks2

Jr.

G

UT Dallas

Jordan Francis

Sr.

G

UT Tyler

Jordan Quillian

Sr.

F

East Texas Baptist

Alec Colhoff2

Jr.

G

LeTourneau

Second Team

Name

Cl.

Pos.

School

Raheem Regis

Sr.

F

Louisiana College

Jace Richardson

Jr.

G

Univ. of Ozarks

Melvin Anthony

Jr.

F

UT Tyler

Dylan Augustine2

Sr.

G

East Texas Baptist

Kyle Coulter

Sr.

F

UT Dallas

Two-Time East Division2

All-Freshman Team

Name

Pos.

School

Dimitrius Underwood

G

UT Dallas

Emeka Obukwelu

F

UT Tyler

Taylan Grogan

G

Louisiana College

Nate West

G

LeTourneau

Landin Brown

G

East Texas Baptist

All-Defensive Team

Name

Cl.

Pos.

School

Reagan Keogh

Jr.

F

UT Dallas

Dylan Augustine2

Sr.

G

East Texas Baptist

Jordan Quillian

Sr.

F

East Texas Baptist

Caleb Loggins

So.

F

LeTourneau

Josh Tatum

Jr.

G

UT Tyler

Two-Time East Defensive Team2

Honorable Mention

Name

Cl.

Pos.

School

Caleb Loggins

So.

F

LeTourneau

Josh Berard

Sr.

F

Univ. of Ozarks

Taylan Grogan

Fr.

G

Louisiana College

Steve Evans

Sr.

F

Louisiana College

Skyler Hadden

Jr.

G

UT Tyler

West Division

Player of the Year – Nathaniel Jack, Hardin-Simmons
Freshman of the Year – Kaan Yilmaz, McMurry
Newcomer of the Year – C.J. Ross, Sul Ross State
Defensive Player of the Year – Justin Jones, Hardin-Simmons
Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year – J Bailey, Howard Payne
Co-Coach of the Year – Craig Carse, Hardin-Simmons / Clif Carroll, Sul Ross State

First Team

Name

Cl.

Pos.

School

Nathaniel Jack2

Sr.

F

Hardin-Simmons

Joe Neal

So.

G/F

Concordia Texas

Khyce Randall2

Jr.

G

Howard Payne

Daniel Mills

Sr.

F

Mary Hardin-Baylor

Caleb Thomasson2

Jr.

F

Sul Ross State

Second Team

Name

Cl.

Pos.

School

Justin Jones2

Sr.

C

Hardin-Simmons

Nate Estrada

Sr.

G

McMurry

Ephriam Price

So.

G

Concordia Texas

Christian O’Neal

Sr.

G

Hardin-Simmons

Rickey Guillory2

Jr.

G

Howard Payne

Two-Time West Division2

All-Freshman Team

Name

Pos.

School

Kaan Yilmaz

F

McMurry

De’Marcus Hurd

G

Howard Payne

Ryan Lang

F

Mary Hardin-Baylor

Zacc Carter

G

McMurry

Darius Watts

G

McMurry

All-Defensive Team

Name

Cl.

Pos.

School

Justin Jones2

Sr.

C

Hardin-Simmons

Nathaniel Jack2

Sr.

F

Hardin-Simmons

J Bailey

Jr.

F

Howard Payne

C.J. Ross

Jr.

G

Sul Ross State

Rickey Guillory2

Jr.

G

Howard Payne

Two-Time West Division Defense2

Honorable Mention

Name

Cl.

Pos.

School

Rashad Coleman

Sr.

G

Concordia Texas

Demarius Cress

So.

G

Mary Hardin-Baylor

Ben Page

Jr.

F

Concordia Texas

LaRandall Scroggins

Jr.

F

McMurry

C.J. Ross

Jr.

G

Sul Ross State

Brock Anders

So.

F

Sul Ross State

Braden Hammond

Jr.

G

Mary Hardin-Baylor

J Bailey

Jr.

F

Howard Payne

Duane Hopper

Sr.

F

Hardin-Simmons

Aubrie King

Jr.

F

Mary Hardin-Baylor

Jacob Dawson

Sr.

F

Sul Ross State

Xavier Webb

Sr.

G

Sul Ross State

 

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