Drury senior shooting guard Alex Hall has been named the Daktronics Midwest Region Player of the Year and senior point guard Brandon Lockhart to the Second Team in post-season honors announced on Thursday.
Hall, one of five seniors on the All-Region First Team, and Lockhart have led the Panthers to a 25-4 overall record, the Great Lakes Valley Conference championship and the top seed in this weekend's NCAA-II Midwest Regional at the O'Reilly Family Event Center, where Drury will take on eight-seed Findlay at 6 p.m. Saturday in the opening round.
Hall selected as Player of the Year in a vote of sports information directors in the Midwest region. He is joined by Michigan Tech forward Ali Haidar, Ashland forward Evan Yates, Southern Indiana forward-center Keith DeWitt and Wisconsin-Parkside forward Jeremy Saffold on the first team. Those five players will be included on the national Daktronics All-America ballot as a result.
Hall who has the Panthers riding a 17-game winning streak, is averaging 19.6 points per game and has averaged 25.5 points over his last 10 outings. He scored a tournament-record 79 points in three games last weekend to lead the Panthers to their second GLVC Championship in Evansville, Ind., including a 34-point outburst in the 71-65 victory over Southern Indiana in the title game. Hall is third all-time on the DU scoring charts with 2,056 points and holds the school record for most 3-pointers in a career (267) and a game (9 vs. Missouri S & T this season).
Lockhart, who joined Hall on the All-GLVC Tourney First Team last weekend, averages 11.5 points, 5.8 assists and 3.0 steals per game, ranking among the national leaders in the latter two categories after leading the GLVC in both during the regular season. He is No. 5 on Drury's all-time list for assists (496) and is tied for the career lead in steals with Ted Young at 251.
Michigan Tech's Haidar was named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player of the year for the second consecutive season. Haidar is third in the nation in scoring (24.9 ppg.) and he's 16th in rebounding (9.8 rpg.). He has set four GLIAC records and seven school records. The forward has spearheaded Michigan Tech's march into the NCAA playoffs with a 20-8 record.
Yates is a first team all-region choice for the second consecutive year. Last season, he became the first Ashland player in 20 years to receive All-America laurels. Yates is second in career rebounds (820) at Ashland and he's fifth in career points (1,566). Yates averaged 16.8 ppg., 9.0 rpg., and shot 56.5 percent from the floor this season. He scored 30 or more points in a game twice this year, including a career-high 32 points against Walsh.
DeWitt missed four of the first five games this season after knee surgery, but he has returned and made his presence felt inside for the Screaming Eagles. The first team All-GLVC pick is second on the team and 17th in the GLVC in scoring (14.4 ppg.). He leads the conference in rebounding (9.1 rpg.) and blocked shots (1.7 bpg.). Twice this season DeWitt was honored as the GLVC player of the week. He scored a season-high 27 points against Saint Joseph's and had a season-best 18 rebounds against Quincy. DeWitt had 10 double-doubles, the most by a USI player since 2005-06. The Screaming Eagles are 22-7 and in the NCAA playoffs.
Saffold is second in the GLVC in scoring (18.8 ppg.). He was named the GLVC player of the year and was a unanimous First Team All-GLVC selection. Saffold was named the GLVC player of the week twice this season. He is one of three players in Wisconsin-Parkside history to score more than 1,500 points and collect 500 rebounds. The Rangers are 20-8 and competing in the eight-team NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament.
2012-13 Daktronics, Inc. All-Midwest Region First Team
Keith DeWitt, Southern Indiana F-C 6-9 220 Sr. High Point, N.C.
Ali Haidar, Michigan Tech F 6-7 240 Sr. Windsor, Ont.
Alex Hall, Drury
Jeremy Safford, Wis.-Parkside F 6-6 195 Sr. Hazel Crest, Ill.
Evan Yates, Ashland F 6-6 245 Sr. Cincinnati, Ohio
2012-13 Daktronics, Inc. All-Midwest Region Second Team
Chris Dowe, Bellarmine
Joe Graessle, Tiffin
Vance Hall, Bellarmine
Brandon Lockhart, Drury G 6-1 175 Sr. St. Louis, Mo.
Zimmy Nwogbo, Cedarville F 6-7 215 Sr. Lithonia, Ga.
Midwest Region Player of the Year – Alex Hall, Drury