ROSEMONT, Ill. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Junior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) and Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) have been named to the Preseason All-Horizon League teams, the conference announced at its 2012-13 men's basketball media day on Tuesday afternoon at the InterContinental Hotel in Rosemont, Ill. Brown was named to the preseason first team while Sykes was tabbed as a second-team selection.
The Horizon League also announced the results of the preseason poll on Tuesday, and Green Bay was picked to finish in third place based on voting conducted among the league's head coaches, sports information directors and media representatives. Defending champion Valparaiso was tabbed to repeat as the Horizon League champion, receiving 40 of a possible 44 first-place votes and 382 points.
Detroit was picked to finish second with the other four first-place votes and 332 points. The Phoenix got 283 points and was voted in front of Youngstown State (243), Cleveland State (230), Milwaukee (178), Loyola (105), UIC (96) and Wright State (86). Teams were given nine points for a first-place vote, eight for a second-place votes, seven for third-place votes, and so on.
The Horizon League is the only league in the country to return all five of its first-team all-conference players, and the same quintet finds itself on the preseason first team. Detroit's Ray McCallum was named Preseason Player of the Year, edging reigning Player of the Year Ryan Broekhoff by six points in the voting. Brown, Youngstown State's Kendrick Perry and Valpo's Kevin Van Wijk round out the first team.
Brown, a 7-foot-1 junior, averaged 13.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore in 2011-12. Through his first two seasons in a Phoenix uniform, Brown has tallied 739 points, 425 rebounds and 156 blocked shots. His 425 rebounds in two seasons, the most by a Phoenix player through a sophomore campaign in Green Bay's Division I era.
During his sophomore campaign, Brown finished among the Horizon League leaders in 10 statistical categories, including points per game (7th), rebounds (2nd), blocks (2nd), offensive rebounds (1st) and free-throw percentage (6th). He holds the Phoenix blocked shots records in a game (11), season (89) and career (156), and his 11 blocked shots against Wright State on Jan. 14 set a Horizon League record.
Sykes was the runner-up for Horizon League Newcomer of the Year honors after one of the most accomplished freshman seasons in Phoenix history. The 5-foot-10 Chicago native averaged 11.2 points and 3.4 assists per game despite playing nearly half of the season as a 17-year old.
In Horizon League play, Sykes upped his production to 13.8 points and 4.5 assists per game. He finished the season with 335 points, the most by a Phoenix freshman since Tony Bennett in 1988-89, and led all Horizon League freshmen in points, assists and assist-to-TO ratio.
Green Bay begins official practice for the 2012-13 season on Friday. The Phoenix will host St. Norbert in its lone exhibition on Oct. 31 at the Kress Center and welcome Chicago State for its regular season opener on Nov. 10.
Ray McCallum, Detroit
Ryan Broekhoff, Valparaiso
Kendrick Perry, Youngstown State
, Green Bay
Kevin Van Wijk, Valparaiso
Ben Averkamp, Loyola
Anton Grady, Cleveland State
, Green Bay
Damian Eargle, Youngstown State
Nick Minnerath, Detroit
Horizon League Preseason Poll
1. Valparaiso (40 First-Place Votes), 382
2. Detroit (4), 332
3. Green Bay, 283
4. Youngstown State, 243
5. Cleveland State, 230
6. Milwaukee, 178
7. Loyola, 105
8. UIC, 96
9. Wright State, 86
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