The Franklin News-Post|
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Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
|Wallace, Tharp earn top USA South accolades|
Friday, February 22, 2013
FERRUM -- Ferrum College's men's basketball team has received two of the league's three top individual accolades in voting for this year's all-conference team, which was released Wednesday.
Panthers freshman J.D. Wallace has been selected Rookie of the Year and head coach Bill Tharp, now in his eighth year at the helm, has been chosen Coach of the Year.
Wallace takes a 9.8 points-per-game average and a 3.4 rebounds-per-game average into this year's postseason conference tournament, which began Thursday in Fayetteville, N.C.
Wallace was named Rookie of the Week twice during the regular season; on Dec. 3 and Feb. 4.
Wallace is the sixth Ferrum men's basketball player to earn Rookie of the Year laurels. He joins Michael Hunter (1996), Curtis Lipscomb (1999), William Jennings (2001), Kenny Johnson (2005) and Derek Mitchell (2008).
Wallace's .416 3-point shooting percentage ranked fourth in the league while his 55 assists were good for 10th.
During conference play, Wallace led all USA South rookies (only freshmen qualify for Rookie of the Week and Rookie of the Year honors) by averaging 11.1 points-per-game.
This marks the second time that Tharp has been named Coach of the Year; he first received the honor following the 2008 season when he led the Panthers to a share of the USA South's regular-season title.
Tharp's 2013 squad was picked to finish eighth out of nine teams in this year's preseason coaches poll, but the Panthers won 10 league games and worked their way into what was the regular-season championship game this past Sunday at William P. Swartz Gymnasium.
Ferrum suffered a 76-52 loss to Christopher Newport University in that game and finished second in the final league standings, one game in arrears to the Captains, the preseason championship favorite in the conference.
Ferrum's 10 conference wins ties the program record for single-season USA South victories.
Ferrum has been a member of the league since the 1988-89 academic year.
Tharp notched his 100th career coaching victory during the season.
Senior Lamont King is a first team all-conference performer, while sophomore Jamal Pullen is a second-team selection.
King, who earned honorable mention recognition last year, is averaging 15.2 points and 6.3 rebounds-per-game this season.
Pullen is averaging 14.2 points and 4.2 rebounds-per game.
Senior Donte Thomas is Ferrum's representative on the league's All-Sportsmanship team.