The Ohio Valley Conference’s selections for top players, newcomers, and freshmen of the past week.
Ian Clark, G • Sr., 6-3, 175 • Memphis, Tenn. • Belmont
Clark earned the OVC Player of the Week honor for the third-straight week after averaging 20.5 points, 3.5 assists and 2.5 rebounds/game and hitting 66.7 percent (16-of-24) from the field and 83.3 percent (6-of-7) from 3-point range in road victories over Morehead State and Eastern Kentucky. Clark had 20 points, four assists and three rebounds in a one-point win over Morehead State, hitting 7-of-10 (70%) from the field and 3-of-4 (75%) from long range in that victory. In that win Clark had five points and two assists in the final 4:17, including an assist to J.J. Mann on what proved to be the game-winner with 1:13 to play (giving the Bruins its first lead since 2-0). Two days later he scored 21 points, had three assists and two rebounds while hitting 64.3 percent (9-of-14) from the field and 3-of-3 from 3-point range. Clark currently ranks first nationally in 3-point percentage (51.1%), ninth in 3-pointers made/game (3.43), 18th in field goal percentage (57.6%) and 24th in scoring (19.2 points/game). In addition he ranks first nationally in effective field goal percentage according to Ken Pomeroy.
Tarvin Gaines, F • Sr., 6-6, 225 • West Memphis, Ark. • Jacksonville State
Gaines was instrumental in Jacksonville State going 2-0 last week, including its first-ever victory over Murray State in 17 tries. The senior averaged 20.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.0 steals/game while hitting 53.6 percent (15-of-28) from the field and 90.9 percent (10-of-11) from the free throw line. Gaines started the week by scoring 28 points on 11-of-18 (61.1%) shooting in a victory over Austin Peay; he added four rebounds, a block and steal in the win. Two days later Gaines had 13 points, eight rebounds, two blocks, a steal and an assist in the dramatic 65-64 win over Murray State. Since the team’s leading scorer (Darion Rackley) went down with an injury five games ago, Gaines has averaged 18.8 points and 6.4 rebounds/game over that stretch.
Others Nominated: Sherman Blanford, Eastern Illinois; Mike DiNunno, Eastern Kentucky; Angelo Warner, Morehead State; Ed Daniel, Murray State; Corey Wilford, Southeast Missouri; Mark Yelovich, SIUE; Patrick Miller, Tennessee State; Jud Dillard, Tennessee Tech; Myles Taylor, UT Martin.
Sherman Blanford, F • Jr., 6-6, 215 • Philadelphia, Pa. • Eastern Illinois
Blanford shared the OVC Newcomer of the Week honor for the second-straight week after averaging 18.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.0 assists/game and hitting 47.8 percent (11-of-23) from the field and 77.8 percent (14-of-18) from the free throw stripe in a pair of Eastern Illinois victories. In the team’s overtime win over Southeast Missouri on Saturday night, Blanford posted career-highs in points (21) and rebounds (16), including nine offensive caroms. He was also 9-of-11 from the free throw line, including two free throws with six seconds left to force overtime. He began the week with 15 points, seven rebounds, three blocks, three assists and a steal in a victory over UT Martin.
Corey Walden, G • So., 6-2, 206 • Daytona Beach, Fla. • Eastern Kentucky
Walden shared the OVC Newcomer of the Week honor for the second-straight week after averaging 23.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals/game while hitting 61.9 percent (13-of-21) from the field, 50 percent (3-of-6) from 3-point range and 89.5 percent (17-of-19) from the free throw line in a pair of games. Walden had 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting in a win over Tennessee State; in that game he also added five rebounds, three assists and a steal. Two days later he hit 6-of-10 shots on his way to a game-high 24 points in a loss to first-place Belmont; Walden also added two steals, two rebounds, two assists and a steal in that game. Walden currently ranks 10th nationally in free throw percentage (90.5%).
Others Nominated: Bakari Turner, Morehead State; A.J. Jones, Southeast Missouri
Chris Horton, C • Fr., 6-8, 195 • Decatur, Ga. • Austin Peay
Horton earned his sixth OVC Freshman of the Week honor of the season after averaging 10.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks/game in a pair of road contests last week. The freshman also hit 52.9 percent (9-of-17) from the field as Austin Peay lost games at Jacksonville State and Tennessee Tech. Horton had 18 points (on 8-of-12 shooting), 10 rebounds and two blocks in 29 minutes of action against JSU to start the week. He closed the week with two points, four rebounds, two blocks and an assist against Tech. Horton currently leads the OVC in blocked shots (3.0/game) and is ninth in rebounding (6.5/game).
Others Nominated: Jordan Gaither, Tennessee State; Anthony Morse, Tennessee Tech.