Basketball teams collect conference honors
The Blue Raider’s basketball team received honors Wednesday as coach Kermit Davis achieved the Sun Belt award for coach of the year and forward LaRon Dendy received the nod as conference player of the year.
Additionally, Lady Raiders coach Rick Insell was named conference coach of the year, and both teams placed a total of six players on the all-conference team.
Davis’s recognition is his second in his 10 years at MT. He was also honored as Sun Belt coach of the year in 2003.
Davis led the squad to a 25-5 record, including a 14-2 conference mark, which stands as the most wins and most conference wins in program history. In addition, Davis became the program’s winningest coach, passing Jimmy Earle’s mark of 164 wins with a 71-66 victory over Florida International.
Dendy is the first Blue Raider to receive a player-of-the-year honor from the Sun Belt and the first to earn the distinction from any conference since Jerry Beck was the Ohio Valley Conference’s player of the year in 1981.
Dendy leads the team and ranks fourth in the conference in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 14.8 points and 7 rebounds a game. He scored in double figures in 22 of the teams 30 games and picked up a career high 26 points and 14 rebounds against western Kentucky.
Dendy received a place on the conference first team, while Marcos Knight was named to the second team and JTSulton to the third.
Knight, a junior guard and the team’s second-leading scorer, put up 11.7 points per game during the regular season and ranks among the conference leaders in scoring, field-goal percentage, assists and steals.
Sulton, a junior forward, averages 10.7 points a game, good for third on the team and is the team’s second-leading rebounder. His 53.6 shooting percentage from the field ranks fifth in the conference, just behind Dendy’s leading mark of 54.2. Sulton has also started in 41-consecutive games.
Insell took home his third award as Sun Belt coach of the year. He also won the award in 2007 and 2009.
The only other Lady Raiders coach to collect three conference awards as coach of the year is Larry Joe Inman, who won his designations in the OVC in the 1980′s.
Insell’s squad went undefeated, 16-0, in conference play this year in route to a 24-5 overall record. It is the first time a Sun Belt team has gone undefeated since MT accomplished it in 2007.
Sophomore forward Ebony Roe and junior guard Kortni Jones received places on the all-conference team, while junior forward Icelyn Elie earned a second-team nod.
Roe and Jones ended the regular season virtually tied for the team lead in scoring with Roe averaging 16.7 points per game and Jones 16.6 points per game.
Roe this season became just the second player in MT history to score 1,000 points in her freshman and sophomore campaigns. She collected 13 double doubles this season and knocked down a career high 29 points, shooting 13-13 from the field, against Arkansas State.
A strong player around the basketball, Roe ranks first in the conference in offensive rebounds.
Jones set team and conference records this season for three-point attempts and makes. Her 104 made 3-pointers leads the conference and ranks second in the nation.
Jones also set a career high in assists, displaying her ability to distribute the ball, with a 16-assist effort in a victory over Troy.
Elie posts 13.7 points a game and ranks third in the conference in rebounds and offensive rebound. Her 23-point effort led all players in MT’s upset over No. 6 Kentucky, and she tied a career best with 16 boards against Arkansas Little Rock.
The conference honors are the first in the careers of Jones and Elie.
It is just the fourth time in conference history that both coaching awards went to the same school.