Men's Basketball Award Winners Announced

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Radford junior center Artsiom Parakhouski and Highlanders’ head coach Brad Greenberg have been voted the 2008-09 Big South Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, respectively, by the League’s head coaches and media panel, it was announced Monday morning by the Conference office.  The panel voted Liberty guard Seth Curry Freshman of the Year and Winthrop redshirt-junior guard/forward Mantoris Robinson as the League’s Defensive Player of the Year.  Gardner-Webb’s Aaron Linn was voted Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the League’s Sports Information Directors.

Parakhouski (Minsk, Belarus) averaged 16.0 points and 11.0 rebounds during the regular-season to lead the Highlanders to the Big South regular-season championship.  He is just the second Radford player to be voted Big South Player of the Year, joining Jason Williams in 1999-00.  The 6-11, 260-pound Parakhouski ranks seventh in the Big South in scoring and second in rebounding.  In addition, he is second in field goal percentage (.547), 10th in free throw percentage (.647), sixth in blocked shots (1.24), first in defensive rebounds (7.31) and second in offensive rebounds (3.72).  Parakhouski posted 15 double-doubles in the regular-season, second-highest in the Big South, and grabbed at least 10 rebounds in a game 16 times – including six games with 15-or-more.  A three-time Big South Player of the Week, Parakhouski averaged 20.1 points, 12.7 rebounds and .595 percent from the field in the last 10 games, helping Radford to a 9-1 record in that span.  In 18 Conference games, Parakhouski posted 10 double-doubles, was fourth in scoring (17.2), second in rebounding (11.8), and second in field goal percentage (.591).  He also led the Conference with 8.33 defensive rebounds in Big South action.  Named Mid-Majority’s Player of the Week on Feb. 17, Parakhouski ranks in the top 10 nationally in rebounds per game, and against teams from the Big East and ACC earlier this season (Virginia, Wake Forest and West Virginia), he averaged 14.6 points and 11.3 rebounds.  His 320 rebounds are fourth-most in a single-season in Big South history.  Parakhouski received 10 first-place votes from the panel for 162 total points, ahead of VMI’s Chavis Holmes (seven first-place votes and 142 points).

Greenberg guided the Highlanders to their first regular-season championship since 2000-01 and the program’s fourth overall, as well as becoming the first team in Big South history to improve from seventh-place the previous year to regular-season Conference champions the next.  Radford finished 15-3 in Big South action, tying the League record for most Conference wins, and won a Big South-record nine Conference road games this season, capping a perfect 9-0 League mark away from home in 2008-09.  The Highlanders also moved into the Collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll, as they cracked the rankings at No. 23 last week.  Radford leads the Big South in field goal percentage (.463), field goal defense (.397), three-point field goal defense (.321), rebounds per game (40.7), rebound margin (+5.8) and defensive rebounds (28.45).  In League games, the Highlanders were tops in scoring margin (+7.5), field goal percentage (.477), field goal percentage (.393), three-point defense (.312), rebounds (41.8), rebound margin (+8.0) and defensive rebounds (29.67).  Greenberg received 10 first-place votes and 40 total points from the panel, ahead of VMI’s Duggar Baucom (three first-place votes and 24 points) and Presbyterian head coach Gregg Nibert (four first-place votes and 21 points).

Curry (Charlotte, N.C.) is Liberty’s second-ever Freshman of the Year, joining 2003-04 winner Larry Blair.  Curry leads the nation’s freshman in scoring with a 20.6 per game average to rank second in the Big South.  He is the highest scoring freshman in Big South history with 641 points, and his 95 three-pointers also broke the Conference’s freshman record in that category.  Curry is second in the League with a .844 free throw percentage, but was tops at the line in Big South games with an .891 percentage.  A two-time Big South Player of the Week, Curry was honored as Dick Vitale’s “Diaper Dandy of the Week” twice this season, and helped Liberty to its first 20-win season since 1997 while being the fourth-youngest team in the nation.  Curry is tied for the Big South lead in 20-point games with 18 and is the only Big South player this season to score 20 points in four consecutive games twice.  Curry, who started the school year at 17 years of age and has continually faced double teams and marked as a defense’s top priority to defend, is on pace to become the first Big South freshman to average 20.0 points in a season.  Curry finished with 15 first-place votes and 86 total points, ahead of High Point’s Nick Barbour (four first-place votes and 62 points).

Robinson (Charlotte, N.C.) receives the Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year award after helping Winthrop lead the Big South with a 62.8 scoring defense average in Conference games.  Known as a shutdown defender, Robinson is usually assigned the opposing team’s top scorer or switches to their leading scorer in-game.  After Charleston Southern’s Jamarco Warren posted 16 first-half points to build a 23-point halftime lead, Robinson shut him down to three points in the second half to help the Eagles overcome a 27-point deficit and win.  He also held other good scorers in the Big South well below their averages at the time, including Aaron Linn, Reid Augst and Kenny Thomas.  Robinson leads Winthrop in steals and ranks 17th in the Big South in rebounding (5.4) and 14th in blocked shots.  In League games, Robinson upped his rebounding average to 5.7.  Robinson received five first-place votes and 16 total points, ahead of Parakhouski (four first-place votes and 11 points).

Linn (Lenexa, Kan.) was named a First-Team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American last week.  It is the third consecutive year that the Big South has had a men’s basketball Academic All-American and seventh time overall.  Linn is Gardner-Webb’s first First-Team Academic All-American since the program moved to Division I in 2000.    

Joining Parakhouski on the All-Conference First-team are VMI’s Chavis Holmes, Coastal Carolina’s Joseph Harris, Liberty’s Anthony Smith and Radford’s Joey Lynch-Flohr.  The entire 2008-09 All-Conference team is as follows:

2008-09 MEN’S BASKETBALL ALL-CONFERENCE

First-Team All-Conference
Artsiom Parakhouski, C, Jr., Radford
Chavis Holmes, G, Sr., VMI
Joseph Harris, F, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina
Anthony Smith, G, Sr., Liberty
Joey Lynch-Flohr, F, Jr., Radford

Second-Team All-Conference
Seth Curry, G, Fr., Liberty
Reid Augst, F, Sr., UNC Asheville
Al’Lonzo Coleman, F, Soph., Presbyterian
Travis Holmes, G, Sr., VMI
Aaron Linn, G, Sr., Gardner-Webb

All-Freshman Team
Seth Curry, G, Liberty
Nick Barbour, G, High Point
Joshua Henley, F, Gardner-Webb
Matt Dickey, G, UNC Asheville
Jesse Sanders, G, Liberty

Academic All-Conference
Giedrius Knysas, Sr., Charleston Southern
Logan Johnson, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina
Aaron Linn, Sr., Gardner-Webb
Dave Campbell, Soph., High Point
Kyle Ohman, Jr., Liberty
Al’Lonzo Coleman, Soph., Presbyterian
Phillip Martin, Jr., Radford

Player of the Year
Artsiom Parakhouski, C, Jr., Radford

Freshman of the Year
Seth Curry, G, Liberty

Defensive Player of the Year
Mantoris Robinson, G/F, R-Jr., Winthrop

Coach of the Year
Brad Greenberg, Radford

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Aaron Linn, Sr., Gardner-Webb