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Mitchem Named Player of the Year; Two Others Honored

March 3, 2010
By cnp
Posted in Athletics

Clarksville, Ark.- University of the Ozarks sophomore forward Blake Mitchem was voted the American Southwest Conference Men's Basketball East Division Player of the Year, it was announced by ASC Media Relations Director Greg Weghorst Wednesday.

Mitchem becomes the first Ozarks’ player to receive the honor since Michael Bollman. Bollman, a forward, earned the award in 2002-2003 for the Eagles. Mitchem also becomes the first Ozarks’ player to lead the conference in scoring (21.0) and rebounding (10.6) in the modern-era, and is only the second player in ASC history to lead the conference in each of those categories. Concordia’s K.B. DeBord did it during the 1999-2000 season.

Junior guard Andre Williams was named to the All-East Division Honorable Mention Team. Williams was also voted the East Division Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year. Freshman point guard Mark Perez was named to the East Division All-Freshman Team.

“It is a great honor for Blake, the team and the university,” said head coach Doug Boxell. “He has worked extremely hard and has made great strides from a year ago. I am happy he received this award. He represents our university well. Andre is the senior member of this team. He always has a great attitude and displays great character on the court. He is a good example of what college athletics is all about. Mark did a good job for us as a freshman handling the ball and getting us in position to score. We have a lot of positive things to build on for next season.”

The 6-foot-6, 200-pound native of Fort Smith, Ark., also earned a spot on the five-man All-ASC Team and was an East Division First Team selection. He started in all 24 games and ranked among the ASC leaders in field goal percentage (4th-56.8%), blocked shots (3rd-1.8) and minutes played (1st-36.2). He shot 73.8 percent from the free throw line and led the team in steals (1.2). He posted a league-best 13 double-doubles, and reached double figures in scoring in all but two games. He had 20 or more points 17 times and 30 or more points three times. He scored a career-high 34 points against Hendrix College and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds against Rust College. He led Ozarks in scoring in 19 games and led in rebounding 23 games. Perhaps his best game of the season came against Louisiana College February 6 when he scored 27 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, blocked six shots and hit the game-winner as the buzzer sounded. He was named ASC Player of the Week and earned a spot on the Team of the Week twice during the season. He was eighteenth in NCAA III in rebounding and twenty-seventh in scoring.

Williams, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound native of San Antonio, Texas, finished fifth in the ASC in free throw percentage (80.0%) and eleventh in three-point percentage (40.0%). Williams was the third-leading scorer (11.0) on the team and second leading rebounder (4.2). He led the team in assists (2.7) and finished second in steals (1.0). He reached double figures in scoring 15 times, including a 19-point outburst against Mississippi College February 4. He had ten games with at least two three-pointers and had nine games in which he did not miss from the free throw line. Williams was a member of the All-Freshman Team in 2007-08.

Perez, a 6-foot, 155-pound native of Houston, Texas, started in 16 games, averaging 3.3 points and 1.7 assists per game. He shot over 30 percent from behind the arc and over 70 percent from the free throw line. Against Texas Lutheran, he scored 12 points and dished out five assists.

Complete list of All-Conference: