NEW ORLEANS, La. (3/11/14) - Arkansas State University's Kirk Van and Melvin Johnson have been named to the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Men's Basketball All-Conference Team for the 2013-14 season as voted on by the league coaches and media per an announcement by the conference office this Tuesday (March 11).
Van Slyke collected second-team All-SBC honors while Johnson III received third-team recognition. The two seniors are presently in their first seasons at A-State after transferring from Houston and UT San Antonio, respectively.
A forward, Van Slyke is presently averaging a team second-best 14.9 points (447 pts.) and a squad second-most 5.8 rebounds (175 rebs.) per contest as a starter in all 30 games this season. The 6-10 Van Slyke leads the Red Wolves in blocked shots (32), free throws made (100) and minutes played (914) to date this campaign. He has reached double-figure scoring in 23 games this season with seven 20 or more single-game point performances. A native of The Woodlands, Texas, Van Slyke has currently chalked up three double-doubles this season.
Van Slyke ranks in the league's top 15 in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, and three-point field goal percentage. Nationally, Van Slyke presently is 58th among the NCAA-I statistical leaders in field goal percentage (52.5) and is 116th in free-throw percentage (82.6) through games of March 9.
Johnson III, who has started in 26 of 30 games played this season, leads A-State in scoring average (15.2 ppg.), points (456), three-point field goals made (83) to go along with a team third-best 4.4 rebounds a game average (132 rebs.). The 6-6 guard has tallied double-digit point totals 22 times this season, which includes eight outings with at least 20 points. He was tabbed as the Sun Belt Conference's Player of the Week this season (Dec. 3).
Among the conference leaders, Johnson III is listed in the top 15 for scoring, three-point field goals made, three-point field goal percentage, field goal percentage, and free throw percentage. Johnson III, who hails from Dallas, Texas, presently ranks second in three-point field goal percentage (49.1), 40th in three-point field goals per game (2.77), and 44th in total three-point field goals made (83) on the NCAA-I national leaders chart through March 9 contests.
The SBC Player of the Year went to R.J. Hunter of Georgia State while his coach, Ron Hunter, was honored as the recipient of the Joe Gottfried Coach of the Year Award as selected by his peers. UL Lafayette's Elfrid Payton earned Defensive Player of the Year and WKU's Chris Harrison-Docks was tabbed Freshman of the Year. A first, second, and third team consisting of five players apiece comprised the 2013-14 All-Sun Belt Conference Teams.
Arkansas State, which is presently 18-12 overall and finished with a fourth-place 10-8 conference mark this season, earned the four seed in the 2014 Sun Belt Conference Men's Basketball Championships (March 13-16) and will take on the winner of the UALR-Troy opening-round matchup this Friday (March 14) at 6 p.m. (CT) in New Orleans, La.
2013-14 All-Sun Belt Conference Teams
R.J Hunter, Georgia State - So., Guard
Elfrid Payton, UL Lafayette - Jr., Guard
Shawn Long, UL Lafayette - So., Forward
Reger Dowell, UT Arlington - Sr., Guard
Ryan Harrow, Georgia State - RJr., Guard
Augustine Rubit, South Alabama - Sr., Forward
Manny Atkins, Georgia State - Sr., Forward
Kirk Van Slyke<http://www.astateredwolves.com/ViewArticle.dbml?&ATCLID=205701750&DB_OEM_ID=7200>, Arkansas State - Sr., Forward
T.J. Price, WKU - Jr., Guard
Will Neighbour, UALR - Sr., Forward
Brandon Edwards, UT Arlington - Sr., Forward
Tylor Ongwae, ULM - Jr., Forward
George Fant, WKU - Jr., Forward
Melvin Johnson III<http://www.astateredwolves.com/ViewArticle.dbml?&ATCLID=205701607&DB_OEM_ID=7200>, Arkansa State - Sr., Guard
Devonta White, Georgia State - Sr., Guard
Player of the Year
R.J. Hunter, Georgia State
Defensive Player of the Year
Elfrid Payton, UL Lafayette
Freshman of the Year
Chris Harrison-Docks, WKU
Coach of the Year
Ron Hunter, Georgia State
Joseph Gorby: ASU Media Relations