Monday, March 05, 2007
MACON, Ga. (Mar. 5, 2007) - The coaches votes have been tallied and the ETSU women's basketball team had a lot to smile about as four of its players grabbed Atlantic Sun postseason honors. Brooke Wilhoit (Sevierville, Tenn.), Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio), Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.), and Devin Thompson (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) all garnered A-Sun accolades, which was announced by the conference office Monday afternoon. The four student-athletes honored by ETSU marked a league best.
"I am very happy for the girls, because they worked hard all season and it is nice to see their accomplishments be recognized, added head coach Karen Kemp. "We have a lot of depth on our team and this shows by having four players win conference awards."
Evans was the big winner on Monday as she walked away with three separate honors. The Georgia native was named A-Sun Freshman of the Year, first team All-Atlantic Sun and Atlantic Sun All-Freshman Team. The freshman sensation led the Lady Bucs in scoring (13.1ppg) and rebounding (7.4rpg), ranked second in steals (2.43spg) and third in assists (2.5apg). In the A-Sun, Evans ranked fourth in steals, fifth in scoring, was tied for fifth in rebounding with Jacksonville's all-conference first team winner Ashley Williams, and ranked ninth in field goal percentage (.455). She also recorded eight double-doubles her rookie season, which were the most by any freshmen in the conference.
There was a tie in the voting for the freshman team, which led to six members being selected. Joining Evans on the All-Freshman Team was teammate Devin Thompson, Rosetta Hollis (Kennesaw State), Shandrea Moore (UNF), Tereva Moore (Belmont), and Amber Rockwell (Belmont). Thompson improved her play during conference action as she averaged 6.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 18 league games. The post player had no difficulties finding the basket as she shot 50 percent (50-100) from the field against conference foes.
"I knew our freshmen were going to be counted on a lot heading into the season, and with Evans and Thompson picking up these awards it shows how well they have contributed early on in their career," added Kemp. "Without a sophomore class they needed to make an immediate impact if we wanted to win, and not only have these two freshmen stepped up but the entire class has as well."
In her final year for the Lady Bucs, Brooke Wilhoit was called upon to be the team captain and leader for Kemp's squad and she filled the role to perfection as she worked her way to second team All-Atlantic Sun honors. Wilhoit led the league in assists (5.93apg) and assist/turnover ratio (1.44), ranked second in three-point field goal percentage (.426) and finished third in steals (2.46spg). She also ranks among the national leaders in three-point field goal percentage (13th), assists (14th) and steals (77th). The guard is a very unselfish player as she dished out a career-high and conference best 14 assists against Kennesaw State on Feb. 23, and is currently tied with Angie Fickes for second all-time in ETSU history with 422 career assists. Wilhoit also won her first-ever A-Sun POTW award on Dec. 4 as totaled 31 points, 26 assists, 15 rebounds and nine assists in three games for the Lady Bucs.
"Brooke is a natural leader and is an extension as a coach when she is on the floor," said Kemp. "She gives 100 percent effort all the time and I am proud to see her hard work pay off in the end."
Rounding out the awards list for ETSU was junior Michele DeVault (Columbus, Ohio) who joined Wilhoit as a second team all-conference selection. DeVault started all 28 games for ETSU this season and reached double figures in 19 of those contests. She led the Lady Bucs in free throw shooting (.850), and was the second leading scorer on the team as she averaged 12.5 points a night, ranking her seventh overall in the A-Sun. Like Wilhoit, the Ohio native can also shoot from beyond the arc as she nailed 53 threes on the season. In the conference, DeVault ranked fourth in three-point field goals made (1.89) and sixth in three-point field goal percentage (.349).
"Michele is a true competitor and creates a lot of match-up problems for the opposition as she can either play with her back to the basket or shooting from beyond the arc," added Kemp.
The Lady Bucs will now focus their attention to 2007 Atlantic Sun Tournament which starts Thursday afternoon in Dothan, Ala. For the second straight year ETSU will be the third seed in the tournament, and will play sixth-seeded Lipscomb in the first round on Thursday night. Tip is set for 7 p.m. EST inside the Dothan Civic Center. Fourteen of the 17 student-athletes honored by the conference office will compete in the 2007 A-Sun Championship this week. The winner of the conference tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. For more information regarding the A-Sun Tournament and for a complete list postseason award winners click on the icon above or visit www.atlanticsun.org.