Oakland's Benson Named Summit League Men's Basketball Player of the Year

Oakland's Benson Named Summit League Men's Basketball Player of the Year

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Oakland's Keith Benson was selected as The Summit League Men's Basketball Player of the Year in a vote of the league's 10 head coaches, sports information directors and select media members announced Thursday.

Oral Roberts' Michael Craion earned the league's Newcomer of the Year award while IUPUI's Jon Avery was named Sixth Man of the Year and Western Illinois' Ceola Clark took home the Defensive Player of the Year nod. Oakland's Greg Kampe was named Coach of the Year.

Benson led The Summit League in rebounding (9.6 rpg in league) and blocked shots (3.3 bpg in league) and was third in scoring (17.9 ppg in league) while leading Oakland to the league's regular season title. For the year, Benson had a league-high 16 double-doubles, including nine in league play. His 102 blocks presently rank as the fourth-highest season total in Summit League history while his 311 rebounds are sixth. Benson scored 20 or more points 13 times, including eight occasions in league play.

Craion earned the Newcomer of the Year award after transferring to Oral Roberts from Independence CC. During the season, he ranked second on the team with 14.5 points per league game, and tied for fourth in The Summit League with 7.2 rebounds per league contest. Also a second team all-league selection, Craion tied for sixth in the league with a 54.5 percent shooting percentage in league games.

Avery garnered Sixth Man of the Year honors after coming off the bench for IUPUI in all 18 league games while shooting a league-best 70.1 percent and averaging 9.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest.

Clark claimed the Defensive Player of the Year accolade after recording a Summit-best 50 steals in 18 league games (2.8 spg) while compiling 71 steals for the year. A first team all-league selection, Clark's 2.7 steals per game average for the season ranks sixth nationally while his 44.8 three-point shooting percentage in league play leads The Summit League and his 15.0 points per league game are tops for Western Illinois.

Kampe earned the Coach of the Year award after guiding his team to The Summit League's regular season championship and the top seed in the tournament. Along the way, Oakland set Summit records for league wins (17) and winning percentage (.944) while also matching the longest league winning streak in history with 16.

Joining Benson and Clark as first team All-Summit selections were the league's top two leading scorers in IUPUI's Robert Glenn (20.8 ppg in league) and Alex Young (20.2 ppg), the assists leader in Oakland's Johnathon Jones (7.1 apg in league), and Oral Roberts' Dominique Morrison (15.1 ppg in league).

Comprising the second team is Craion, Oakland's Derick Nelson (11.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg in league), South Dakota State's Clint Sargent (league-best 2.6 three-point field goals per league game), North Dakota State's Michael Tveidt (15.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and IPFW's Deilvez Yearby (12.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg).

Receiving honorable mention Southern Utah's Davis Baker (17.1 ppg), North Dakota State's Eric Carlson (15.4 ppg), UMKC's Jay Couisnard (14.2 ppg), Oral Roberts' Kevin Ford (12.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg) and South Dakota State's Kai Williams (11.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg).

In addition Craion and Couisnard, the all-newcomer team includes Oral Roberts' Warren Niles (13.9 ppg), South Dakota State's Nate Wolters (10.8 ppg) and Oakland's Larry Wright (11.9 ppg).

The Summit League Tournament begins March 6 at the Sioux Falls Arena in Sioux Falls, S.D., and culminates with the title game on Tuesday, March 8 on ESPN2 at 8 p.m.

-SUMMIT-

2009-10 SUMMIT LEAGUE MEN'S BASKETBALL AWARDS

FIRST TEAM

Name, School

Pos.

Yr.

Hometown

Keith Benson, Oakland

C

Jr.

Farmington Hills, Mich.

Ceola Clark, Western Illinois

G

So.

Gurnee, Ill.

Robert Glenn, IUPUI

F

Sr.

Indianapolis, Ind.

Johnathon Jones, Oakland

G

Sr.

Okemos, Mich.

Dominique Morrison, Oral Roberts

F

So.

Kansas City, Mo.

Alex Young, IUPUI

F

So.

Indianapolis, Ind.

SECOND TEAM

Michael Craion, Oral Roberts

F

Jr.

Kansas City, Mo.

Derick Nelson, Oakland

F

Sr.

Lansing, Mich.

Clint Sargent, South Dakota State

G

Jr.

South Sioux City, Neb.

Michael Tveidt, North Dakota State

F

Jr.

Pierre, S.D.

Deilvez Yearby, IPFW

F

Sr.

Detroit, Mich.

HONORABLE MENTION

Davis Baker, Southern Utah

G

Sr.

Coto de Caza, Calif.

Eric Carlson, North Dakota State

F

So.

Shakopee, Minn.

Jay Couisnard, UMKC

F

Jr.

Houston, Texas

Kevin Ford, Oral Roberts

F

Sr.

Portland, Ore.

Kai Williams, South Dakota State

F

Sr.

Regina, Saskatchewan

ALL-NEWCOMER

Michael Craion, Oral Roberts

F

Jr.

Kansas City, Mo.

Jay Couisnard, UMKC

F

Jr.

Houston, Texas

Warren Niles, Oral Roberts

G

Fr.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Nate Wolters, South Dakota State

G

Fr.

St. Cloud, Minn.

Larry Wright, Oakland

G

Jr.

Saginaw, Mich.



PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Keith Benson, Oakland

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Michael Craion, Oral Roberts

SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR
Jon Avery, IUPUI

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Ceola Clark, Western Illinois

COACH OF THE YEAR
Greg Kampe, Oakland

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January 10, 2010 Saturday Summit Scoreboard