The Ohio Valley Conference’s selections for top player, newcomer, and freshman in the past week.
Ian Clark, G • Sr., 6-3, 175 • Memphis, Tenn. • Belmont
Clark earned his second-straight OVC Player of the Week honor after averaging 22.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.5 steals/game while hitting 53.8 percent (14-of-26) from the field, 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from 3-point range and 72.7 percent (8-of-11) from the free throw line in a pair of Belmont victories. The team topped Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee State, both of who were previously undefeated in OVC play, at home to become the last remaining OVC team undefeated in Conference play (6-0). Clark had 22 points, seven rebounds, three steals and an assist in a come-from-behind victory over EKU; he hit 5-of-6 3-pointers (83.3%) for the game as the Bruins overcame a four-point deficit with 6:30 to play. Two days later he once again scored 22 points while adding six rebounds, six assists and four steals in the win over in-city rival Tennessee State. Clark ranks fourth nationally in 3-point percentage (49.3%), ninth in 3-pointers made/game (3.47) and 24th in scoring (19.1 points/game).
Others Nominated: Josh Piper, Eastern Illinois; Mike DiNunno, Eastern Kentucky; Tarvin Gaines, Jacksonville State; Devon Atkinson, Morehead State; Isaiah Canaan, Murray State; Tyler Stone, Southeast Missouri; Kellen Thornton, Tennessee State; Mike Liabo, UT Martin.
Sherman Blanford, F • Jr., 6-6, 215 • Philadelphia, Pa. • Eastern Illinois
Blanford helped Eastern Illinois to its first OVC victory of the season last week in averaging 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 4.0 steals/game and hitting 47.6 percent (10-of-21) from the field and 83.3 percent (10-of-12) from the line in games against Murray State and Austin Peay. Blanford, a transfer from Marshalltown Community College, had his first double-double of the season, 19 points and 10 rebounds, while also adding six assists, four steals and a block in the 77-67 win over APSU on Saturday. In that game he hit 9-of-10 free throws. The win snapped a 12-game losing streak for the team dating back to November and was the first victory on the road for EIU this year. He started the week by recording 11 points, four rebounds, four steals and two assists in a loss at Murray State.
Corey Walden, G • So., 6-2, 206 • Daytona Beach, Fla. • Eastern Kentucky
Walden averaged 17.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals/game while hitting 62.5 percent (10-of-16) from the field, 60 percent (3-of-5) from 3-point range and a perfect 11-of-11 from the free throw line in games against Belmont and Jacksonville State. After scoring six points, grabbing two rebounds and blocking a shot in a loss to OVC leader Belmont, the transfer from Brevard Community College came back with a career-high against Jax State. Walden hit 8-of-11 (72.7%) shots, 2-of-2 3-pointers and was a perfect 10-of-10 at the free throw line on his way to 28 points. The sophomore also added four assists, three rebounds and two blocks. Walden currently ranks 13th nationally in free throw percentage (90.8%) and has connected on 38-of-39 (97.4%) free throw attempts in OVC play this season.
Others Nominated: Rico Sanders, Jacksonville State; Jeremiah Samarrippas, Tennessee Tech.
Lanerryl Johnson, G • R-Fr., 6-0, 175 • Atlanta, Ga. • Tennessee Tech
Johnson hit a pair of 3-pointers on his way to 10 points in Tennessee Tech’s road loss to Southeast Missouri on Saturday. The redshirt freshman also dished out an assist in 28 minutes of action. It marks the third time this season Johnson has been named OVC Freshman of the Week.
Others Nominated: none