MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — University of Rio Grande sophomore Gunner Short has been named to the 2019-20 All-River States Conference Men’s Basketball Second Team.
The all-conference teams and individual awards, which were made through nominations and voting of the 12 RSC head coaches, were announced Monday by league officials.
Short, a 6-foot-4 guard from Catlettsburg, Ky., missed six games due to a knee injury, but still led the RedStorm in scoring at 17.3 points per contest. He also averaged 3.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.0 steals per outing.
West Virginia University Tech senior guard Junior Arrey was chosen as the Player of the Year to lead the honorees.
Arrey, a 6-foot-0 point guard from Blacklick, Ohio, led No. 15-ranked WVU Tech to the RSC regular-season championship by averaging 16.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.1 steals per game. He shoots 49 percent from the field, 37 percent from beyond the arc and 71 percent from the foul line.
Arrey was the top vote-getter in the balloting and led a 10-player First Team. There were also 10 players on the All-RSC Second Team. Also named was the RSC Men’s Basketball Champions of Character Team.
James Long, the first-year coach from WVU Tech, was chosen as the Coach of the Year. Coming over from Bob Huggins’ staff at his alma mater WVU, Long has led the Golden Bears to a record of 23-8 overall and 15-1 RSC as the overall RSC regular-season champion and RSC East Division champion. The Golden Bears have locked up an automatic bid to the NAIA Division II National Championship.
Asbury (Ky.) University junior guard Leander Ridgeway was selected as the Newcomer of the Year. The 6-4 native of Lexington, Ky., earned a spot on the All-RSC Second Team and was the top vote-getter among players who are new to the conference this year. He averaged team-highs of 17.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
IU East senior guard Bishop Smith was the runner-up in Player of the Year voting. He is averaging 21.8 points per game with a conference-high 124 made 3-pointers. Alice Lloyd (Ky.) senior guard Blake Smith was also high on the list as the RSC scoring leader at 27.0 points per game. IU Southeast junior forward David Burton (17.9 ppg, 8.5 rpg) and IU Kokomo junior forward Desean Hampton (11.1 ppg, 10.5 rpg) rounded out the top half of the first team.
IU Kokomo was the only school with two on the first team with senior guard Akil McClain (15.4 ppg) joining teammate Hampton.
Also on the All-RSC First Team were Ohio Christian sophomore forward Justin Barksdale (16.1 ppg, 9.0 rpg), Midway (Ky.) University junior forward Kwon Evans (16.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg), WVU Tech junior forward Tamon Scruggs (13.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and Brescia (Ky.) University senior forward Kayode Daboiku (17.4 ppg, 8.8 rpg).
The 10 players on the All-RSC Second Team had two from IU East and two from Point Park (Pa.) University to tie for a league high. The other six players came from six different schools, and there are no seniors on the second team.
The RSC Men’s Basketball Champions of Character Team featured players nominated by their head coaches for best exhibiting the NAIA’s Champions of Character values of respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship.
Rio Grande was represented on the list by senior Hadith Tiggs (Mayfield Heights, OH).
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.