FOREST, Va. --- The top player award in ODAC men’s basketball wears Lynchburg College colors for a second straight year as guard Zack Burnett was named Kurt Axe Memorial Player of the Year, joining Guilford College mentor Tom Palombo as the Bob Johnson Coach of the Year in leading the ODAC men’s basketball awards. Emory & Henry College guard Colin Molden earned ODAC Rookie of the Year honors, while Quakers’ guard Zachary Houston received a second straight ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award from the league’s sports information directors.
Exactly half of the 18 nominees were all-conference selections a year ago, including five of the six All-ODAC First Team choices. Burnett and Virginia Wesleyan College guard Khory Moore feature on the first team for a second straight year, while Washington and Lee University forward Clayton Murtha, a first teamer in 2015, returns to the top list after an All-ODAC Third Team honor last season. Randolph-Macon College forward Michael Taylor also made the jump from the third team. Shenandoah University guard Malcolm Clark rounds out the quintet, moving up from last year’s All-ODAC Second Team.
Burnett, a senior from Fairfax, Va., is now a two-time first team honoree. He posted an ODAC-best six 30-plus point games, helping him to second on the league scoring charts at 21.4 points per game. After an eight-point game to start the season, Burnett has registered double figures in all 24 games since. He has drilled an ODAC-high 88 three-pointers, which he shoots at a 43-percent clip. He made three or more three-pointers in 17 different games, which included 10 from downtown in a win over Eastern Mennonite, which fell just one short of tying the ODAC single-game record. Burnett also excels defensively, ranking fifth in the ODAC with 34 steals.
Palombo is in his 14th season at Guilford and 19th overall as a men’s collegiate basketball coach (he has also coached women). In that time, he has endured just one season with a sub-.500 winning percentage. Palombo ties an ODAC record with his fourth top coaching award, joining the honors he earned in 2004, 2007, and 2009. His Quakers opened NCAA Division III regional ranking as the #1 team in the south for two weeks and enter the ODAC Tournament as the top seed.
Molden, a freshman from Apex, N.C., stepped right in to be a solid perimeter scorer and defender for Emory & Henry. He averages 12.6 points per game, having drilled 30 three-pointers amongst 109 total field goals made. He made five of them toward a career-best 28 points this season. He’s 10th in the league in assists with 68, and third in steals with 42.
Houston, a senior from Hickory, N.C., couples his second men’s basketball scholar-athlete nod with an equally repetitive assignment to the All-ODAC Third Team. Houston maintains a 3.82 grade point average with majors in Health Sciences and Exercise & Sport Sciences. A CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree each of the past two seasons, he is active with the Guilford Christian Ministry as well as a member of the Quakers Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. A certified nursing assistant, Houston completed an internship at a physical therapy clinic and is a regular participant in team community service projects. On the court, Houston is fourth in the ODAC in assists with 93 and #1 in steals with 45. He’s also fifth in rebounding at 7.7 boards per game and takes care of the ball with a 2.7 assist-to-turnover ratio, good for fifth in the league.
Listed below is the completed list of 2017 All-ODAC Men's Basketball Teams. For more information, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com. Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram.
|2017 ALL-ODAC MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAMS|
|Kurt Axe Memorial Player of the Year: Zack Burnett, Sr., G, Lynchburg
Bob Johnson Coach of the Year: Tom Palombo, Guilford
ODAC Rookie of the Year: Colin Molden, Fr., G, Emory & Henry
ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete: Zachary Houston, Sr., G., Guilford
|All-ODAC First Team|
|Zack Burnett *||Sr.||G||Lynchburg|
|Malcolm Clark #||Sr.||G||Shenandoah|
|Khory Moore *||Sr.||G||Virginia Wesleyan|
|Clayton Murtha ^||Jr.||F||Washington and Lee|
|Michael Taylor ^||Sr.||F||Randolph-Macon|
|All-ODAC Second Team|
|Andy Kleinlein #||Sr.||G||Washington and Lee|
|Myles Turner #||Sr.||G||Emory & Henry|
|All-ODAC Third Team|
|Zachary Houston ^||Sr.||G||Guilford|
|Tim Jones #||Sr.||G||Virginia Wesleyan|
|RaShawn Latimer||Jr.||G||Eastern Mennonite|
|* 2016 All-ODAC First Team
# 2016 All-ODAC Second Team
^ 2016 All-ODAC Third Team