GC’s Strong, W&L’s Hutchinson Head Men’s Hoops Awards

R-MC's Brown Top Rookie, H-SC's Prehmus Scholar-Athlete

SALEM, Va. --- Guilford College's Ben Strong earned his second Kurt Axe Memorial ODAC Player of the Year award in a vote of the conference's coaches, adding this season's honor to the one her earned for the 2007 campaign.  Washington and Lee University head coach Adam Hutchinson took home the ODAC Coach of the Year honor, and Randolph-Macon College forward Jordan Brown picked up the league's Rookie of the Year accolade.  Hampden-Sydney College guard Drew Prehmus earned the ODAC/Farm Bureau Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.

For the first time, ODAC men's basketball also recognized an All-ODAC Sportsmanship Team.  Those individuals, which are listed below, were selected by their coaches to represent their respective schools.  Each school placed one student-athlete on the team.

For more than a year, Strong has been saturated with awards on both the conference and national levels.  Not only is it his second straight ODAC top player award, but 2008 marks his third straight appearance on the All-ODAC first team.  Last season, he was named the D3hoops.com NCAA Division III National Player of the Year as well as picking up a Co-National Player of the Year award from the NABC.  He began 2008 with at least one preseason national player of the year bid.

Strong is currently second on the Guilford all-time scoring list, having recently passed such recognizable names as M.L. Carr and World B. Free.  This year, Strong is leading the league in four statistical categories including scoring (25.7 ppg), rebounding (10.8 rpg), blocked shots (2.2 bpg) and defensive rebounds (7.9 bpg).  He has picked up an ODAC-best 18 doubles, having racked up 41 for his career.  He has scored 30 or more points eight times this season, and is a finalist for the prestigious Jostens Trophy.

Hutchinson, in his fifth season at Washington and Lee, earns his first ODAC conference award.  He led his team to an overall mark or 15-10 and a conference record of 11-7 which is good enough for the fifth seed in this weekend's tournament.  His squad's 11-7 mark in the ODAC marks the school's best conference season since 1988-89.

Brown didn't take long to make a mark on his squad.  One of four Yellow Jackets in double-figures, he is 21st in the league in scoring at 11.8 points a game.  He is fifth in blocked shots at 1.2 per outing, eighth in field goal percentage at a 55.6 clip, and ninth in steals at 1.44 per game.  He recorded a season-high 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting in a win over Lynchburg.

Prehmus was also named to the 2008 Honorable Mention team.  He boasts a 3.84 cumulative grade point average while majoring in English.  He has been a member of the Student Court for three years, and a resident advisor for three years as well.  He served as Student Body President during the 2006-2007 school year and is currently the President of Omicron Delta Kappa honor fraternity.  He is an Allan Scholar at the college.  On the court, he's currently averaging 12.6 points and 4.8 rebounds while having dished out 71 total assists.

This is the fifth year the conference has awarded a sport-by-sport scholar-athlete award in women's basketball, an honor created and voted upon by the league's sports information directors.  The ODAC recently partnered with Farm Bureau Insurance, which serves as the presenting sponsor for this award and the others like it throughout the conference's sponsored sports.

Listed below are the entire 2008 ODAC Men's Basketball All-Conference Teams.  For more information on these athletes as well as the rest of the men's basketball season and the upcoming ODAC postseason tournament, visit the ODAC on the Internet at www.odaconline.com.


First Team
Greg Bienemann, Washington and Lee, senior, forward
Tyler Fantin, Virginia Wesleyan, senior, forward
Turner King, Hampden-Sydney, sophomore, guard
Justin Short, Randolph-Macon, junior, guard
Ben Strong, Guilford, senior, center
Mason Wooldridge, Lynchburg, sophomore, forward

Second Team
TonTon Balenga, Virginia Wesleyan, senior, guard
Jeremy Dixon, Randolph-Macon, senior, forward
Troy Kaase, Hampden-Sydney, senior, center
Josh LaPorte, Roanoke, senior, forward
Brad Parkes, Eastern Mennonite, senior, forward
Dominic Trawick, Bridgewater, sophomore, guard

Honorable Mention
Eric Belkoski, Guilford, senior, forward
Stephen Fields, Virginia Wesleyan, sophomore, guard
Caleb Kimbrough, Guilford, senior, guard
Michael Oblitey, Bridgewater, junior, forward
Curtis Peery, Roanoke, senior, forward
Drew Prehmus, Hampden-Sydney, senior, guard
Camillo Weinz, Emory & Henry, junior, guard

Sportsmanship Team
Josh Fox, Bridgewater, senior, forward
Jered Lyons, Eastern Mennonite, senior, guard
Shavar Bland, Emory & Henry, senior, guard
George Neville, Guilford, junior, forward
Drew Prehmus, Hampden-Sydney, senior, forward
Kwame Safo, Lynchburg, senior, guard
Boris Varela, Randolph-Macon, junior, forward
Josh LaPorte, Roanoke, senior, forward
D'Juan Tucker, Virginia Wesleyan, senior, guard
Isaiah Goodman, Washington and Lee, junior, guard 

Player of the Year: Ben Strong, Guilford, senior, center
Coach of the Year: Adam Hutchinson, Washington and Lee
Rookie of the Year: Jordan Brown, Randolph-Macon, freshman, guard
ODAC/Farm Bureau Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Drew Prehmus, Hampden-Sydney, senior, guard