Chris Clemons named 1st team All-Big South and to all-academic team

Chris Clemons
(ScarboroughPhotography.com)
Chris Clemons (ScarboroughPhotography.com)

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. – After leading the Big South Conference in scoring, Chris Clemons of Campbell University has been named to the all-conference first team in voting by league head coaches and media members.  The sophomore from Raleigh has also been selected for the Big South all-academic team.

The nation's sixth-leading scorer (23.1), Clemons also owns a 3.2 grade-point average as a business administration major.  He owns the Big South's longest active double-figure scoring streak (44 games) and has tallied at least 20 points 21 times in 29 outings this season.

"What a great honor for Chris. He's had a terrific season and been a big part of our improvement this year," said Campbell head coach Kevin McGeehan. "Obviously, it's really hard to lead the conference and be one of the nation's leading scorers. That's quite an accomplishment in itself. I'm so happy that my fellow coaches and media members in the Big South understand what Chris means to our team.

Entering Tuesday's 7 p.m. Big South Championship first round game against Presbyterian in Buies Creek, Clemons has scored 670 points, second most in school history to the 739 recorded by 1987 Big South player of the year Clarence Grier.  Clemons has scored 1226 points in 59 career games, 16th-most in Campbell history and ninth in the program's Division I era (since 1977-78).

"Maybe even more impressive are Chris's accomplishments in the classroom," said McGeehan. "With the amount of time that he puts into basketball, the ability to carry a 3.2 GPA in business administration says a lot about his work ethic, intelligence and character."

Already sixth on Campbell's school charts for 3-point field goals made in a career (179), Clemons is just the third sophomore in Big South history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.  He is only the second player in Campbell history to score at least 500 points in his freshman and sophomore year, joining Jonathan Rodriguez, who had 1162 points from 2006-08).

In addition to leading the league in scoring, Clemons ranks second in three-pointers made per game (3.0) and three-point percentage (.336), third in steals (1.9), sixth in free throw accuracy (.815), eighth in field goal percentage (.427), 11th in assists (2.6) and 14th in blocked shots (0.6).  The 5-foot-9 sophomore also leads the team with 18 dunks.

Clemons set a Campbell Gore Arena record with a career-high 37 point performance in a Jan. 4 win over Charleston Southern.  He matched the school mark for most points scored in a Big South road game with a 36-point outburst on Jan. 26 in a win at Radford that was televised nationally on ESPNU.

With six 30-point efforts in just 59 career games, Clemons is only two shy of Grier's school record eight 30-point outings.

One year after earning Big South freshman of the year and second-team all-conference recognition, Clemons was among the top five vote getters in the all-league balloting.

Clemons was joined on the Big South first team by Keon Johnson, the Big South player of the year, and his teammate Xavier Cooks.  UNC Asheville's Ahmad Thomas, the league defensive player of the year, and MaCio Teague, the freshman of the year, also earned first-team recognition.

UNC Asheville's Nick McDevitt was named Big South coach of the year after the Bulldogs shared regular season champion honors with Winthrop, which will be the top seed in the league tournament and host at least the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds.  Giacomo Zilli of Asheville was chosen Big South men's basketball scholar-athlete of the year by conference sports information directors.

The Big South Conference Championship tournament begins Tuesday with seventh-seeded Campbell hosting 10th seed Presbyterian and eighth seed Charleston Southern entertaining ninth-seeded Longwood.

The winner of the Campbell-Presbyterian game will face second-seeded UNC Asheville Thursday in a 1:00 p.m. tip-off at Rock Hill, S.C. 

2016-17 Big South Conference Men's Basketball Honors

First-Team All-Conference
Keon Johnson, G, Sr., Winthrop
Xavier Cooks, F, Jr., Winthrop
Ahmad Thomas, G, Jr., UNC Asheville
Chris Clemons, G, Soph., Campbell
MaCio Teague, G, Fr., UNC Asheville

Second-Team All-Conference
LaQuincy Rideau, G, Soph., Gardner-Webb
Miles Bowman Jr., F, R-Sr., High Point
Tyrell Nelson, F, Sr., Gardner-Webb
Ryan Kemrite, G, R-Jr., Liberty
Khris Lane, F, R-Jr., Longwood

Honorable Mention All-Conference
Christian Keeling, G, Fr., Charleston Southern
Ed Polite Jr., F, Soph., Radford
Darrion Allen, G, Sr., Longwood
David Efianayi, G, R-Soph., Gardner-Webb
John Dawson, G, R-Sr., Liberty

All-Freshman Team
MaCio Teague, G, Fr., UNC Asheville
Christian Keeling, G, Fr., Charleston Southern
Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz, G, Fr., Liberty
Myo Baxter-Bell, F, R-Fr., Liberty
Jo'Vontae Millner, G, Fr., Presbyterian

All-Academic Team
Chris Clemons, G, Soph., Campbell
Patrick Wallace, G, Sr., Charleston Southern
Tyrell Nelson, F, Sr., Gardner-Webb
Austin White, G, Jr., High Point
Ryan Kemrite, G, R-Jr., Liberty
Christian Lutete, F, Soph., Radford
Giacomo Zilli, F, Sr., UNC Asheville
Anders Broman, G, Jr., Winthrop

Player of the Year
Keon Johnson, G, Sr., Winthrop

Freshman of the Year
MaCio Teague, G, Fr., UNC Asheville

Defensive Player of the Year
Ahmad Thomas, G, Jr., UNC Asheville

Coach of the Year
Nick McDevitt, UNC Asheville

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Giacomo Zilli, F, Sr., UNC Asheville

Big South Conference Championship
First Round – Tuesday, Feb. 28 – Big South Network/Roku
Game 1: #10 Presbyterian (5-24, 1-17) at #7 Campbell (14-16, 7-11), 7:00pm
Game 2: #9 Longwood (6-23, 3-15) at #8 Charleston Southern (11-18, 7-11), 7:00pm

Quarterfinals – Thursday, March 2 – ESPN3
Game 3: #2 UNC Asheville (23-8, 15-3) vs. #7/10 winner, 1:00pm
Game 4: #3 Liberty (19-12, 14-4) vs. #6 Radford (13-17, 8-10), 3:00pm
Game 5: #1 Winthrop (23-6, 15-3) vs. #8/9 winner, 7:00pm
Game 6: #4 Gardner-Webb (18-13, 11-7) vs. #5 High Point (15-15, 9-9), 9:00pm

Semifinals - Friday, March 3 – ESPN3
Game 7:  Semifinals – Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 6:00pm
Game 8:  Semifinals – Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 8:00pm

Championship - Sunday, March 5 – ESPN
Game 9:  Championship – Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 1:00pm