Freeman named freshman of the year; Griffin and White earn all-conference honors

Trey Freeman, Eric Griffin, Darren White
(photos by Bennett Scarborough)
Trey Freeman, Eric Griffin, Darren White (photos by Bennett Scarborough)

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Trey Freeman of Campbell University has been named Big South Conference men's basketball freshman of the year, while teammates Eric Griffin and Darren White have been selected for the all-conference first and second teams, respectively.

UNC Asheville senior guard Matt Dickey was named player of the year and Charleston Southern's Barclay Radebaugh coach of the year by the league's head coaches and media panel. Charleston Southern senior forward Kelvin Martin was tabbed defensive player of the year.  Radford forward Tolga Cerrah was voted scholar-athlete of the year by Big South sports information directors.

"I'm so pleased that Trey, Eric and Darren were recognized for their body of work throughout the regular season," said Campbell head coach Robbie Laing, whose club has posted a 17-14 overall record and 11-7 mark to earn the third seed in next week's conference tournament. "I'm especially happy that we will have two of these young men back with us next year. It's also exciting that these honors continue a run of Campbell players being recognized with some of the premier players in our league. It's gratifying to see our kids rewarded for their hard work."

Freeman was the first Camel to earn conference freshman of the year honors since Lorne Merthie was named the Atlantic Sun top frosh in 2009. Freeman joins Joe Spinks (1991), Scott Neely (1992) and Dan Pogue (1993) as CU performers to earn top rookie notice in the Big South.

A point guard from Virginia Beach, Va., Freeman led all Big South freshmen in scoring (14.2), free throw percentage (.868), field goal accuracy (.441), assist-turnover ratio (1.6) and minutes played (.32.25), while ranking 2nd in assists (3.89).

He closed the regular season as the conference leader in foul shooting. Overall, he enters Wednesday's Advance Auto Parts Big South Championship quarterfinal game vs. Winthrop ranked sixth in assists, fifth in assist-turnover ratio, 8th in minutes, 10th in field goal accuracy and 14th in scoring.

Freeman has scored in double digits 23 times in 27 games, including five, 20-point efforts. He scored a season-high 28 points in a 96-82 win over Liberty (Dec. 1), tallied 22 in a 62-57 triumph over Charleston Southern (Feb. 2) and had 20 (including 12-of-12 from the line) in Campbell's 76-74 victory against East Carolina (Nov. 14).

The 6-foot-2 guard opened the year by setting a school record of 29-straight free throws made, a mark he broke in January and February when he hit 35-straight from the line. Freeman handed out at least five assists in a game nine times, including a season-high 10 against Methodist and 9 in a victory over High Point (Dec. 3). 

Freeman received nine first-place votes and 92 total points, ahead of Charleston Southern's Saah Nimley (five first-place votes, 79 points). Freeman missed 3 games with a concussion in January, but recovered to help the Camels (17-14, 11-7) earn the third seed in the Big South tournament.

Griffin joined Dickey, Nick Barbour of High Point, Jesse Sanders of Liberty, Martin and Al'Lonzo Coleman of Presbyterian on the all-conference first-team. His selection marks the fifth time in seven seasons that a Campbell player has been named to the all-league first team.

The 6-foot-8 forward from Orlando, Fla., leads the Big South in field goal percentage (.614) and blocked shots (2.3), while ranking third in rebounds (8.7) and ninth in scoring (15.9). He ranks seventh among the nation's most accurate shooters and has already broken the school record for blocked shots (69) he set last year.

Griffin already stands 3rd on Campbell's career blocked shots (130) list in only 59 games. He has produced 17 career double-doubles, including 12 this season. In addition, he is in the Final 8 of the ESPN Dunks of the Year competition and Final 4 of the State Farm Dark Horse Dunker race.

He has produced 5 of the top 7 blocked shots performances by a Big South player this year, including career-high 6 at Iowa, where he scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Campbell's 77-61 win over the Hawkeyes. He tops all Big South players with 7 games of 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds and has set a school senior class (Division I era) record for rebounds (261).

A junior guard from Danville, Va., White ranks 7th among league scoring (16.8) leaders, 5th in field goal shooting (.520), 6th in blocks (1.1) and 19th in rebounding (5.6). The 6-foot-4 guard has scored 20 or more points 10 times this season, including a pair of 33-point efforts (in wins over North Carolina A&T and Methodist).

White has scored in double figures in 27 of 31 games with 4 double-doubles. His 521 points are already 6th-highest single-season total in school Division I era ('77-78) and set a school junior class record.

He was joined on the all-conference second team by J.P. Primm of UNC Asheville, Stan Okoye of VMI and Coastal Carolina teammates Anthony Raffa and Chris Gradnigo.

Dickey finished the regular-season tied for fourth in overall scoring with 16.9 points per game and was second in the Big South with an 86.2 free throw percentage for the regular season champion UNCA Bulldogs.  The fifth player in Big South history with 400 career rebounds and 400 career assists, Dickey received nine first-place votes and 188 total points from the panel, ahead of High Point's Nick Barbour (three first-place votes and 158 points) and Liberty's Jesse Sanders (three first-place votes and 148 total points).

Radebaugh earned his first Big South Men's Basketball Coach of the Year honor after leading the Buccaneers to a third-place tie with Campbell in the Big South standings -- the squad's highest Conference finish since the 2002-03 campaign. Radebaugh received seven first-place votes and 43 total points, edging out UNC Asheville's Eddie Biedenbach (11 first-place votes and 40 total points).

Martin repeated as the Big South's top defensive player after leading the league in steals (2.1), rebounds (9.2) and defensive rebounds (6.69) as well as ranking second in blocked shots (1.55). 

2012 First-Team All-Conference
Matt Dickey, G, Sr., UNC Asheville
Nick Barbour, G, Sr., High Point
Jesse Sanders, G, Sr., Liberty
Kelvin Martin, F, Sr., Charleston Southern
Eric Griffin, F, Sr., Campbell (tie)
Al'Lonzo Coleman, F, R-Sr., Presbyterian College (tie)

2012 Second-Team All-Conference
J.P. Primm, G, Sr., UNC Asheville
Stan Okoye, F, Jr., VMI
Anthony Raffa, G, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina
Darren White, G, Jr., Campbell
Chris Gradnigo, F, R-Sr., Coastal CarolinaSaah Nimley, G, Charleston Southern
Arlon Harper, G, Charleston Southern
R.J. Price, G, Radford
Javonte Green, F, Radford

2012 All-Freshman Team
Trey Freeman, G, Campbell

All-Academic Team

Sam McLaurin, F, R-Jr., Coastal Carolina
Mike Byron, C, Soph., Gardner-Webb
Landon Harris, F, Jr., High Point
Jesse Sanders, G, Sr., Liberty
Jay Reynolds, C, Jr., Presbyterian College
Tolga Cerrah, F, R-Soph., Radford
Matt Dickey, G, Sr., UNC Asheville
Stan Okoye, F, Jr., VMI

Player of the Year

Matt Dickey, G, Sr., UNC Asheville

Freshman of the Year
Trey Freeman, G, Campbell

Defensive Player of the Year

Kelvin Martin, F, Sr., Charleston Southern

Coach of the Year

Barclay Radebaugh, Charleston Southern

Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Tolga Cerrah, R-Soph., F, Radford