NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – UNC Greensboro junior forward Kyle Hines was named the Southern Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year on Wednesday by the league's 11 coaches, the first such honor in the program's 40-year history.
In addition to Hines' honor, freshman forward Ben Stywall was named to the conference's all-freshman team. Stywall, a native of Charlotte, NC, is averaging 5.9 ppg and 6.6 rpg and has had five games of 10 or more rebounds this season. He is second in the conference in offensive rebounds behind Hines.
Hines, a native of Sicklerville, NJ who finished in the Top 3 in the voting in each of his first two seasons with the Spartans, was named to the conference's top honor when the all-conference team was announced Wednesday afternoon.
Joining Hines on the 10 member All-SoCon squad were Appalachian State’s D.J. Thompson, College of Charleston’s Dontaye Draper, the Davidson duo of Stephen Curry and Jason Richards, the Furman pair of Robby Bostain and Moussa Diagne, Elon’s LeVonn Jordan, and Georgia Southern’s Donte Gennie.
Joining Stywall on the all freshman squad were Davidson’s Curry, Western Carolina duo Jake Robinson and Nick Aldridge and Wofford’s Junior Salters.
Curry was named the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year, while Davidson’s Bob McKillop was named the conference’s Coach of the Year.
“I am really happy and appreciate the award,” said Hines. “It is certainly the greatest honor that I have achieved in my years of playing basketball. Any time you get an award of this magnitude from the 11 coaches in the league, it is a great honor and comes with great meaning. The last couple of weeks my father has called and asked me a little about if I’d heard anything about whether I had a chance to win the award and he ended up making a couple of jokes about it. But, personally, I was more concerned with our team finishing the regular season strong.
“On some level, though, I would like to have the Tournament MVP at the end of the weekend because that would likely come with a championship trophy and that is this team’s ultimate goal.”
Hines is one of four players nationally to be averaging 20 points and nine rebounds per game. He enters Thursday's quarterfinal match-up with Furman averaging 20.4 ppg and 9.0 rpg, ranking him second in scoring and first in rebounding. He led the Southern Conference in scoring for the first 100 days this season and currently has a streak of 49 consecutive games scoring 10 or more points going back to December 2005. That streak is the fifth-longest active streak in the nation, trailing Trey Johnson of Jackson State (62), Caleb Green of Oral Roberts (59), Nick Fazekas of Nevada (56) and Brandon Heath of San Diego State (53).
Hines, a product of Timber Creek HS, also leads the Southern Conference this season in blocked shots. Earlier this season, Hines became the first player in school history to record four 30-point games in the same season, including a 38-point effort in the season-opener against Marshall. That was the most points by a Spartan in a game since 1986 when the program was at the Division III level.
Hines, the only active player in Division I with career totals exceeding 1000 points, 500 rebounds, 200 blocks and 100 steals, currently sits third on the UNCG career scoring list with 1,558 points in 88 career games. Hines has scored in double figures in 81 of those 88 games and has led the Spartans in scoring 45 of his 88 career contests. He has scored 572 points this season, six points shy of the Division I era mark he set last season. It also made him the first player in school history to record 500 points in two seasons, consecutive or otherwise.
UNCG (16-13) is seeded fourth in this week’s Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Spartans will take on fifth-seeded Furman at 4:30 pm on Thursday in a quarterfinal matchup.
2006-07 All-Southern Conference Men’s Basketball
selections (Coaches’ ballot)
Kyle Hines (UNCG), D.J. Thompson (Appalachian State), Dontaye Draper (College of Charleston), Stephen Curry (Davidson) , Nick Aldridge (Western Carolina), Jason Richards (Davidson), Donte Gennie (GSU), Moussa Diagne (Furman), LeVonn Jordan (Elon), Robby Bostain (Furman)
2006-07 Southern Conference all-freshman selections
Stephen Curry (Davidson) , Nick Aldridge (Western Carolina), Jake Robinson (Western Carolina), Junior Salters (Wofford), Ben Stywall (UNCG)
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