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Tuesday, March 01, 2005 | Men's Basketball
2005 Men's Basketball All-Conference Team
Darren Brooks, a senior from St. Louis, Mo., has been was named the Missouri Valley Conference’s Player of the Year by a vote of the league’s coaches, sports information directors and media. Brooks is the first Saluki to win back-to-back men’s basketball Player of the Year honors and just the seventh in league history to be voted the league’s top player in consecutive seasons.
In addition to being named Player of the Year, Brooks was tabbed by the league coaches as the Missouri Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year, making him just the third player in league history to sweep both honors. He joins Ashraf Amaya of Southern Illinois (1991-92) and Nate Green of Indiana State (1999-00) as student-athletes who have earned both awards in the same season. Brooks, though, is the first to sweep Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons. (The first year for the Defensive Player of the Year honor was in 1988-89.)
All-Defensive Team (selected by coaches)
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Darren Brooks, Sr., SIU
Brooks leads his team in scoring, rebounding, steals, and assists and is the league’s active career scorer, with 1,692 career points, which ranks No. 33 on the all-time Missouri Valley Conference scoring list. His 251 career steals rank No. 4 on the all-time Valley charts, and his 85 steals this season are tied for third-best all-time in the Valley for steals during a single season. Brooks also ranks among the league leaders in assists this season, with 4.4 per game.
This week’s MVC Player of the Week, Brooks has led SIU to a No. 25 position in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, and the Salukis (25-6, 15-3) have recorded the most-ever regular-season wins in school history under first-year coach Chris Lowery. Notably, Brooks was part of Saluki squads that did not lose a home conference game in four years (36-0).
Eric Coleman becomes the first Panther to earn Freshman of the Year honors. The first-year player from Maplewood, Minn., is among league leaders with 6.2 rebounds per game, and he is second in the league in field goal percentage, connecting on 57.4 percent of his shots. He earned Newcomer of the Week honors three times and was Player of the Week on Dec. 27. He started all 30 games for UNI and averaged 10.7 points per game.
A two-time Newcomer of the Week and Player of the Week (Jan. 24) award winner, Illinois State’s Lorenzo Gordon of St. Louis, Mo., has been tabbed as the conference’s Newcomer of the Year. Gordon ranks fourth in the league in scoring (16.6 points per game), and is also among the league’s top rebounders (6.6 per game). His 3.0 offensive rebounds per game leads the conference. Gordon certainly made an impact in his first year with the Redbirds, who were picked 10th in the league’s pre-season poll, yet finished sixth.
For the ninth-consecutive season, the league's head coaches selected a “Sixth Man Award” recipient, and this season’s honor goes to Southern Illinois' Tony Young. The honor is presented to the league's top reserve player. Young, a sophomore from Schaumburg, Ill., averaged 6.6 points, 1.5 assists, and 1.4 steals while starting just five of Southern Illinois’ 31 games. He connected on 42.7 percent of his three-point tries.
In addition to the specialty awards, the conference announced it's all-conference units (first-team, second-team and honorable mention), all-newcomer team, all-freshman team, and all-defense team -- as selected by the league coaches. The all-bench and most-improved units have been selected by the league’s beat writers and will be announced later this week. A complete listing of all-conference honorees is attached.
2004-05 MEN'S BASKETBALL