BROWN SELECTED AS PLAYER OF THE YEAR TO LEAD MENíS BASKETBALL ALL-CONFERENCE AWARDS
Men's Basketball - Tue, Mar. 7, 2017
ST. LOUIS – For the second consecutive year, Park University's Xavielle Brown has been selected as the American Midwest Conference's Men's Basketball Player of the Year, but this year, Brown does not have to share the award. After being a Co-Player of the Year in 2015-16, Brown closed out an impressive Park career with his third AMC superlative award – along with the Co-Player of the Year honor from last season, and the Freshman of the Year nod in 2012-13.
Brown received nine first place votes on the ballot of AMC Coaches to earn the honor, after he led the AMC in several offensive categories. Brown was the Conference's leading scorer, pouring in just under 21 points per game, and in the AMC Championship quarterfinal, Brown eclipsed the 2,000-career point mark – helping him climb to third on the All-time Park scoring list. He appeared in only 22 games this season – four games fewer than anyone else in the top-20 in the AMC in total scoring – yet he scored 25 more points than anyone else in the conference who played a full season.
Columbia College had a pair of AMC superlative award winners, with Malik Ray claiming the Defensive Player of the Year honor, and head coach Bob Burchard earning the Coach of the Year Award. Ray led the AMC with more than two blocked shots per game, swatting away 64 shots in 31 games, and he ranked second in the AMC in defensive rebounds per game. For Burchard, the Coach of the Year Honor is his eighth AMC Coach of the Year award, and his 11th total conference coach of the Year honor. He piloted the Cougars to a 26-5 record during the season, winning the AMC regular season title and qualifying for the Buffalo Funds NAIA Division I NAIA Men's Basketball National Championship in Kansas City, Mo. for the seventh straight year, and for the 21st time since he took the reins of the program for the 1988-89 season.
David Shepard of Lindenwood University-Belleville took the AMC Newcomer of the Year award. The senior transfer led the AMC in rebounding, pulling in an average of 9.6 rebounds per contest for the Lynx. He ranked in the top-10 in NAIA Division I Men's Basketball in rebounds per game (8th), defensive rebounds per game (8th – 7.0), and in total rebounds (9th – 287). Offensively, he complimented his rebounding with an average of 14.5 points per game, which ranked him 4th in the AMC.
Lyon College's Tyler Robinson won a close vote for the AMC Freshman of the Year award, becoming the First Lyon Scot to win an AMC superlative award since the Scots joined the conference for the 2012-13 season. Robinson ranked second on the Scots with a scoring average of 10.5 points per game, and he shot the basketball at a 57.5% clip.
Brown and Ray were joined on the All-AMC First Team by Jalyn McBride of Central Baptist College, Columbia's Jackson Dubinski, Park's BJ Watson, and Trey Mitchell of William Woods University. Watson (2nd – 15.54/gm), Mitchell (3rd – 15.50/gm), and McBride (5th – 14.3/gm) ranked in the top five in the AMC in scoring average, and Dubinski ranked 6th in the AMC in 3-point percentage, connecting on 44.2% of his long range attempts.
Shepard was named Second Team All-Conference, along with Columbia's Nic Reynolds, Fitzgerald Hopkins of Freed-Hardeman University, Harris-Stowe State University's Jalen Fletcher, and Jared White of Missouri Baptist University. Mike Evans (CBC), Craig Davila, Jr. (HSSU), Braden Wendel (Lyon), Torin Washington (WWU), and EJ Rucker (Williams Baptist College) earned places on the All-AMC Third Team. There were 10 players Honorably Mentioned for All-Conference Status: Marcelious Green (CBC), Nathan Biggs (Columbia), Grant Teichmann (FHU), D'Avonte Garland (Hannibal-LaGrange University), De'Shawn Terrell (HLGU), Chris Deanes (LU-B), Chris Buzzell (MBU), Ikem Eriobuna (Park), Zach Rutland (Park), and DaShaun Stark (WWU).