The Ohio Valley conference’s selection of the top players in the opening weekend of the college basketball season
Kerron Johnson, G • Sr., 6-1, 175 • Huntsville, Ala. • Belmont
Johnson scored a game-high 22 points and added seven steals, three rebounds and two steals as Belmont went on the road to knock off in-city arch rival Lipscomb 89-60 on Friday night. Johnson hit 5-of-12 field goals attempts and 1-of-4 3-pointers and converted 11-of-13 (84.6%) at the free throw stripe. It marked the senior’s third career 20-plus point game. His defense also helped the Bruins force the Bisons into 25 total turnovers.
Milton Chavis, F • Sr., 6-6, 210 • Raleigh, N.C. • Morehead State
Chavis scored a career-high 24 points, grabbed four rebounds, had three steals and dished out an assist as Morehead State topped two-time defending Northeast Conference champion LIU Brooklyn 77-74 in the first collegiate basketball game played at the Barclays Center (the home of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets) on Friday. Chavis hit 9-of-16 (56.3%) shots from the field, was 4-of-6 (66.7%) from 3-point range and connected on both of his free throw attempts.
Others Nominated: Chris Freeman, Austin Peay; Brian Williams, Jacksonville State; Milton Chavis, Morehead State; Stacy Wilson, Murray State; Nino Johnson, Southeast Missouri; Jerome Jones, SIUE; Kellen Thornton, Tennessee State; Jud Dillard, Tennessee Tech; Myles Taylor, UT Martin.
Travis Betran, G • Jr., 6-3, 185 • Harlem, N.Y. • Austin Peay
Betran, the transfer from Kilgore College, had 13 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals in Austin Peay’s season-opening 75-64 victory over Samford on Friday. The guard connected on a trio of 3-pointers and had a monstrous dunk to spark the Govs to the victory. He also led an APSU defensive attack that limited the Bulldogs to just 38.6 percent from the field and 8.3% (2-of-24) from 3-point range. Betran primarily guarded Samford standout guard Raijon Kelly and held him to 5-of-15 shooting from the floor.
Others Nominated: Glenn Cosey, Eastern Kentucky; Maurice Lewis-Briggs, Morehead State; Jeremiah Samarrippas, Tennessee Tech; Justin Childs, UT Martin.
Alex Austin, G • Fr., 6-4, 190 • Chicago, Ill. • Eastern Illinois
In his collegiate debut at Bradley on Friday night, Austin hit 3-of-5 3-point attempts on his way to 13 points in his team’s 76-53 loss. Austin scored five early points that gave the young Panthers team an early lead at the second media timeout of the first half. Overall he was 5-of-8 from the floor and added a rebound and steal.
Others Nominated: Alex Anderson, Jacksonville State; Jeffery Moss, Murray State; Anthony Morse, Tennessee Tech.