UNCGSPARTANS.COM
2-28-2018
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GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s basketball team won its second-straight Southern Conference regular season title, claiming the outright championship with a 24-7 overall record. The Spartans placed four on the postseason SoCon Teams, including three on the All-SoCon Team, the league office announced Wednesday. Selections include the coaches’ all-conference teams and specialty awards in addition to the Southern Conference Sports Media Association (SCSMA) all-conference teams and awards. 

Sophomore forward James Dickey (Raleigh, N.C./Word of God) was named the SoCon Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-SoCon Second Team honors by both the league’s coaches and the media. Junior guard Francis Alonso (Malaga, Spain/Cushing Academy) was named to the All-SoCon First Team in both polls. The league coaches named senior forward Marvin Smith (Richmond, Va./Fork Union Military Academy) All-SoCon Third Team while the media pegged him on the All-SoCon Second Team. Freshman guard Isaiah Miller (Covington, Ga./Newton) was named to the five-member SoCon All-Freshman Team.

This marks the second-straight season that UNCG has placed a league-high three players on the All-SoCon teams and the third-straight year having a representative on the All-Freshman Team. The Spartans finished the regular season with a 24-7 overall record and a 15-3 mark in league play, winning the outright title by one game over ETSU. UNCG’s 24 wins rank 13th in the nation while its 15 league wins are a program-record for a single season.

Dickey becomes the first Spartan in program history to win the SoCon Defensive Player of the Year honor (award started in 2009) while earning his first-ever All-SoCon honor. He led the league with 64 blocked shots, 24 more than any other player, while leading the conference with 8.4 rebounds per game. He led the league by over a full rebound per game on the season while ranking first in defensive rebounds per game (5.4) and offensive rebounds per game (2.9). He ranks 29th in the nation in total blocks and 56th in total rebounds. Dickey also averaged 8.9 points per game, shooting 53.8 percent (106-of-197) from the field on the season.

Alonso was named First Team All-SoCon for the first time in his career and his second All-League honor after being named to the Second Team last year as a sophomore. He finished second in the SoCon in scoring at 16.1 points per game, scoring in double figures 23 times, including 10 games with 20 or more points. He finished third in the league and seventh in the nation with 104 made 3-pointers, a UNCG single-season record. He connected on 41.9 percent (104-of-248) from deep and was second in the league at the free throw line hitting 88.9 percent (80-of-90).

Smith picks up his first career All-SoCon honor, being named Second Team by the media and Third Team by the coaches. He had the best year of his career, averaging 12.6 points per game on the season and 13.4 points per game in league play. He also ranked second on the team and 12th in the conference on the glass, grabbing 5.4 rebounds per game. He is second on the team with 71 made 3-pointers, hitting 34.5 percent (71-of-206) from distance. He scored in double figures 24 times, including career-high 26 points in the regular season finale as UNCG clinched the championship.

Miller was named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team, joining Dickey (2017) and Alonso (2016) as Spartans who have earned the honor the last two seasons. He finished the regular season fourth on the team in scoring at 8.6 points per game despite coming off the bench in all 31 games. He also posted a team-high 45 steals while averaging 3.1 rebounds per game and dishing out 50 assists. Miller scored in double figures 14 times, including eight out of the last 11 games of the season. He connected on 55.2 percent (117-of-212) from the field this season, improving on that in league play hitting 57 percent (73-of-128) from the field.

Desonta Bradford from ETSU was named the Player of the Year by the coaches while Fletcher Magee of Wofford was named the Malcolm U. Pitt Player of the Year by the media. Bo Hodges of ETSU was named the coaches’ Freshman of the Year while Bubba Parham of VMI was named Freshman of the Year by the media.

The Spartans are the No. 1 in the upcoming SoCon Tournament in Asheville. UNCG earned a first round bye and will open play Saturday in the quarterfinal round against the winner of No. 8 The Citadel vs. No. 9 VMI. Game time is set for noon at the U.S. Cellular Center.

SoCon Coaches’ Selections
Player of the Year
Desonta Bradford, Sr., G, ETSU

Freshman of the Year
Bo Hodges, G, ETSU

Defensive Player of the Year
James Dickey, So., F, UNCG

Coach of the Year
Wes Miller, UNCG

First Team
Francis Alonso, UNCG
Zane Najdawi, The Citadel
Desonta Bradford, ETSU
Devin Sibley, Furman
Fletcher Magee, Wofford

Second Team
James Dickey, UNCG
Jalan McCloud, ETSU
Justin Coleman, Samford
Mike Amius, Western Carolina
Cameron Jackson, Wofford

Third Team
Marvin Smith, UNCG
Daniel Fowler, Furman
Matt Rafferty, Furman
Jordan Strawberry, Mercer
Demetrius Denzel-Dyson, Samford

All-Freshman Team
Mladen Armus, ETSU
Bo Hodges, ETSU
Isaiah Miller, UNCG
Bubba Parham, VMI
Storm Murphy, Wofford

SoCon Sports Media Association Selections
Malcolm U. Pitt Player of the Year
Fletcher Magee, Jr., G, Wofford

Freshman of the Year
Bubba Parham, G, VMI

Anton Foy Coach of the Year
Wes Miller, UNCG

First Team
Francis Alonso, UNCG
Zane Najdawi, The Citadel
Desonta Bradford, ETSU
Devin Sibley, Furman
Fletcher Magee, Wofford

Second Team
James Dickey, UNCG
Marvin Smith, UNCG
Stephon Jelks, Mercer
Jordan Strawberry, Mercer
Demetrius Denzel-Dyson, Samford
Cameron Jackson, Wofford

Third Team
Jalan McCloud, ETSU
Daniel Fowler, Furman
Matt Rafferty, Furman
Justin Coleman, Samford
Mike Amius, Western Carolina

All-Freshman Team
Isaiah Miller, UNCG
Bo Hodges, ETSU
Bubba Parham, VMI
Matt Halvorsen, Western Carolina
Storm Murphy, Wofford

-- UNCG --