Tuesday, March 05, 2013
For some the 2013 Atlantic Sun Men's Basketball season was an opportunity to live up to expectations. For others, preseason expectations became just a starting point. As the spotlight moves into focus on the 2013 General Shale Atlantic Sun Championship, the A-Sun is proud to recognize the cast of new and familiar student-athletes highlighted by the 2013 Atlantic Sun Men's Basketball All-Conference Team.
Versatility best describes the 2013 A-Sun Player of the Year Sherwood Brown. One of only three players in the conference to rank in the top 10 for both scoring and rebounding, Brown is also an explosive offensive player. This three-time player of the week scored in double figures 26 times and poured in a career high of 29 points against one of the league’s top defenses in Northern Kentucky.
The defending A-Sun Player of the Year appeared primed for a repeat in 2013 landed First Team All-Conference honors, as Torrey Craig’s 17.2 points per game led the A-Sun in scoring. Craig’s 29 points against a stingy Mercer defense and a dominating 24-point performance at ETSU in the regular season finale were two memorable games for the junior, who scored 20 or more points nine times and now has more than 1,500 points in his career.
A model of consistency, Stetson’s Adam Pegg has the Hatters back in the A-Sun Championship for the first time in five years. His 16.1 points per game in A-Sun play led Stetson in scoring and placed him sixth among his peers, and he was the only player in the conference to finish in the Top 10 in Scoring, Rebounding, and Field Goal Percentage. Pegg scored in double figures in 26 of the 28 games in which he played this season, and was named a Capital One Academic All-District earlier this season.
Leading the new kids on the block, Northern Kentucky’s Eshaunte Jones led the A-Sun in conference play with 17.1 points per game. Jones’ high point in 2013 included a career-high of 30 points vs. Jacksonville as well as 26 points against regular season champion Mercer and back-to-back 25-point games against Kennesaw State and ETSU.
It was a record-setting season for North Florida’s Parker Smith, who set a new A-Sun and school record with 110 three-pointers made this season. Smith scored 30 or more on two occasions, along with recording double digits in 24 of UNF’s 31 games, despite facing defenses designed to limit his production. Smith’s sharp shooting ranked him fifth in the NCAA for three-pointers made and he is the conference leader in three-pointers made and three-point percentage.
Matching up with FGCU’s Bernard Thompson meant a long night for opposing offensive players. The 2013 A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year leads the conference and ranks sixth nationally with 2.84 steals per game. Thompson’s 88 total steals are the second-most by a player in the country and rank as the seventh-best total in A-Sun single-season history. A relentless defender, Thompson has a steal in 30 of the Eagles’ 31 contests, including 17 games in which he tallied three or more thefts.
A-Sun Coach of the Year Bob Hoffman led Mercer to the program's first outright Atlantic Sun regular season championship in 2013, helping the team make good on a host of lofty preseason predictions. Following last season’s CIT Championship. Hoffman guided the Bears to a 9-1 mark in their final 10 A-Sun games and ensured the Bears of postseason play for the second-straight year.
Lipscomb’s Stephen Hurt set the bar high for A-Sun freshmen, ranking as the number two scoring and rebounding freshman center in the nation. He is twelfth nationally in rebounding for all centers and ranks third in the A-Sun in rebounding with eight per game. Hurt earned national recognition as he was named ESPN.com top performer of the day for his 23-point, 18-rebound effort against Austin Peay.
The A-Sun also honored five student-athletes on the second team led by two Mercer selections; Langston Hall and Travis Smith. Stetson's Chris Perez, FGCU's Chase Fielder Perez and ETSU's Jarvis Jones joined the Bears' duo on the second teams.
The Atlantic Sun Conference is an NCAA Division I league with 10 member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement with a true balance between student and athlete. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, Northern Kentucky University, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.