The Ohio Valley Conference’s selections for player, newcomer, and freshman of the Week.
M.J. Rhett, F • So., 6-9, 225 • Columbia, S.C. • Tennessee State
Rhett averaged a double-double last week as Tennessee State won a pair of road games to improve to 3-0 in Conference play. Without senior leader Robert Covington in the lineup (he has now missed four games), Rhett helped pick up the slack averaging 12.5 points, 14.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks/game while hitting 72.7 percent (8-of-11) from the field in victories over divisional foes Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State. Rhett scored a career-high 15 points, hitting 4-of-4 shots and 7-of-11 free throws in the six-point win over Tennessee Tech last Thursday. The sophomore also grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked four shots. Two days later he established a new rebounding high, pulling down 16 boards against JSU to go along with 10 points, a block, assist and steal. Rhett currently ranks ninth in the OVC in rebounding (6.5/game).
Others Nominated: Will Triggs, Austin Peay; J.J. Mann, Belmont; Mike DiNunno, Eastern Kentucky; Darion Rackley, Jacksonville State; Ed Daniel, Murray State; Myles Taylor, UT Martin.
Travis Betran, G • Jr., 6-3, 185 • Harlem, N.Y. • Austin Peay
Betran earned his fourth OVC Newcomer of the Week honor of the season after averaging 26.0 points, 5.5 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals/game and hitting 43.6 percent (17-of-39) from the field, 44.4 percent (8-of-18) from 3-point range and a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe in a pair of road games. The transfer from Kilgore College scored a season-high 30 points (including 12 of the team’s first 21 points) in the Govs loss at Southeast Missouri to begin the week. Betran hit 12-of-24 shots and 6-of-10 3-pointers in the game while also pulling down five rebounds, dishing out five assists and netting three steals in 37 minutes of action. He followed that with 22 points, a season-high six assists, two rebounds and two steals in the team’s overtime loss at UT Martin on Saturday. He was a perfect 10-of-10 at the free throw line in that contest. Betran currently ranks second in 3-point percentage (47.5%), third in 3-pointers made/game (2.9), fifth in scoring (17.1 points/game), eighth in minutes played (33.3/game) and ninth in free throw percentage (79.6%) in the OVC.
Others Nominated: Corey Walden, Eastern Kentucky; Chad Posthumus, Morehead State; A.J. Jones, Southeast Missouri; Jeremiah Samarrippas, Tennessee Tech; Justin Childs, UT Martin.
Lanerryl Johnson, G • R-Fr., 6-0, 175 • Atlanta, Ga. • Tennessee Tech
Johnson earned his second OVC Freshman of the Week award of the season after averaging 13.0 points, 1.5 assists, 1.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals/game in a pair of contests last week. He opened the week with his second 20-point performance of the season, hitting 6-of-14 (42.9%) shots, 3-of-7 (42.9%) 3-pointers and 6-of-8 (75%) free throws on his way to 21 points against Tennessee State. He also dished out an assist in 22 minutes of action off the bench against the Tigers. That performance earned Johnson his first start of the season two days later against Belmont; in that contest he scored five points, pulled down two rebounds, dished out two assists and had two steals in 24 minutes of court time.
Others Nominated: Jeffery Moss, Murray State; Dee Oldham, UT Martin.