February 22, 2013

Eureka's Lessen, Fontbonne's Greenlee Earn Top Conference Honors for Men's Basketball

ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) has announced the 2012-13 All-Conference Men's Basketball Team and special award winners. Eureka College's Mark Lessen was tabbed the SLIAC Player of the Year, while Fontbonne University's Jared Greenlee was named SLIAC Newcomer of the Year. Spalding University and Westminster College (Mo.) head coaches Kevin Gray and Matt Mitchell shared Coach of the Year honors.

Lessen, a senior center, averaged 20.8 points per game to lead the SLIAC in scoring this season. He also led all conference players with an average of 9.8 rebounds per game, and he ranked first with a total of 31 blocks. Lessen ranked in the top 10 in several other categories, including field goal percentage (65.6 - 4th), offensive rebounds (52 - 2nd) and defensive rebounds (85 - 3rd). In addition to Player of the Year honors, Lessen also received First Team All-SLIAC.

Greenlee, a freshman forward, finished among the top 10 overall in conference play in field goal percentage (52.2), rebounds per game (6.8), offensive rebounds (28), defensive rebounds (80),total rebounds (108), steals (22) and blocks (9). His 6.8 rebounds per game led all SLIAC newcomers this season, and he finished second among first year players with an 11.5 point per game scoring average.

Gray led the Golden Eagles to a 15-1 conference record and their second regular season conference championship. Spalding clinched the top seed in the 2013 Men's Basketball Tournament and hosting rights in only their first year eligible for post-season play. It marks the second time in three years that Gray has earned the honor from his peers.

Mitchell guided the Blue Jays to a 12-4 record in conference play this season. He has earned SLIAC Coach of the Year honors three times in the past five years and received the honor back-to-back in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

Greenville College received the Sportsmanship Award for the sixth consecutive year. The team Sportsmanship Award is given to the team whose players, coaches and fans best exhibit the principles of good sportsmanship. The SLIAC also recognizes one individual from each team, selected by his coach and teammates, who throughout the season best displays the ideals fo sportsmanship. The 2011-12 All-Sportsmanship Team includes Diarra Cropper (Blackburn), Jordan Fehr (Eureka), Yada Demisse (Fontbonne), Alex Mumphard (Greenville),Clayton Whitlock (MacMurray), Stanley Beal (Principia), Renaldo Moore (Spalding), Cody Bradfisch (Webster) and Joe James (Westminster).

The 2012-13 All-SLIAC Teams are as follows:

FIRST TEAM
Mark Lessen, Eureka (Sr., Center)
Clayton Whitlock, MacMurray (So., Center)
Dewhon McAfee, Spalding (Sr., Guard)
Roman Robinson, Webster (Sr., Forward)
Joe Prophet, Westminster (Sr., Guard)

SECOND TEAM
Dustin Fritsch, Eureka (Sr., Forward)
Jametrius Brasher, Spalding (Sr., Forward)
Ahmad Smith, Webster (So., Guard)
Joe James, Westminster (Jr., Guard)
Verdis Lee, Westminster (So., Guard)

HONORABLE MENTION
Greg Gentry, Fontbonne (So., Guard)
Alex Mumphard, Greenville (Jr., Guard)
Luke Bishop, MacMurray (Sr., Guard)
Cody Cutsinger, Spalding (Sr., Guard)
Skylar Tolson, Westminster (Sr., Guard)

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM
Mark Lessen, Eureka (Sr., Center)
Cody Best, MacMurray (Sr., Guard)
Jametrius Brasher, Spalding (Sr., Forward)
Hollis Edwards, Webster (Jr., Guard)
Roman Robinson, Webster (Sr., Forward)

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