Four Scots honored in USA South All-Conference release

Four Scots honored in USA South All-Conference release

The USA South Athletic Conference has announced its 2018-19 All-Conference awards for men's basketball, and Maryville College had a total of four members earn league honors.

The Scots' Calvin Songster was named a First-Team All-Conference guard, while forwards Dante Hoppa and Emier Bowman were honored as Third-Team selections. 

"All three of them are very deserving of these honors," Head Basketball Coach Randy Lambert said. "Calvin making first team doesn't surprise me. He had an All-Conference type of year. He led the conference in 3-point field goal percentage, and he may have led the country. He's been in the top three all year long. Anybody that can shoot 50-plus percent from the 3-point line is a knock-down shooter, and he definitely is. He's given us so much in regard to his shooting ability, obviously, but he also leads us in assists. For our leading scorer to lead us in assists says a lot about his ability just to be a good teammate. We've been very well-rounded, and I think that shows with two of our other starters making the All-Conference Team in Emier Bowman and Dante Hoppa." 

This season, Songster has shot 51.7 percent from the floor, as he bettered that number from beyond the arc with a 53-percent performance. He's mad 73 treys on the season, while raking in 398 points thus far.

The Johnson City, Tenn. native has 79 assists on the year, as he averaged 15.3 points per contest. Songster has added 85 rebounds, 27 steals and six blocks to his credit during the 2018-19 campaign. He joined the 1,000-point club as the 33rd men's player in MC history to reach a grand.

"Each of these young men have had good years," Lambert said. "Calvin eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau earlier this year, and a couple weeks ago, Dante Hoppa does the same thing. That tells you their value in the four years they've been in our program. Then, Emier Bowman is close to also reaching the 1,000-point plateau. It would be a bit of a stretch, and we're going to have to win a lot more games for him to get there, but he's less than 100 points away. Emier is more of the shot blocker, the high flyer and the guy plays with a different attitude. He's had a great year, and we're very proud of his development as a player. We've asked him to play a new position. I'm willing to be that he's one of the best 6-3 centers in the country. He may be the only 6-3 center, so that would be an easy award to win. He's a good player."

Hoppa also joined Songster as the 34th player to reach 1,000 points, while the 2018 USA South Tournament MVP has scored 340 points this year. Hoppa has averaged 13.1 points per game to go with 5.9 rebounds per contest this season. The Third-Team honoree also amassed his 500th rebound.

The senior from Naples, Fla. has shot 48.2 percent on the year, while bucketing 51 treys. He's tallied 154 rebounds, 57 assists, 28 steals and six blocks on the year. The forward finished the year with a career-high in scoring.

"Hoppa was coming off a 35-point performance at Covenant last Saturday to help us beat them at their place," Lambert said.

Bowman also earns Third-Team honors alongside Hoppa, as the Scots' five man reached both the 500-rebound and 150-block tallies this year. He currently sits with 935 career points after scoring 305 during his senior campaign. 

Bowman has shot 47.7 percent from the floor, while averaging 5.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game. The senior has 148 rebounds, 77 blocks, 62 steals and 39 assists on the year.

Senior Kaleb Estes was also on the USA South's list as Maryville College's All-Sportsmanship honoree.

"I'm so proud of Kaleb," Lambert said. "He came in here as a freshman four years ago from the Memphis area. He's just gotten consistently better each year. He's a vocal leader on the court, and you need that from the point-guard position. One consistent statistic the entire year is when Kaleb plays well, we win. He's the type of guy that he deserves the All-Sportsmanship award, because he's very respectful of his teammates - everybody that's on Maryville College team - but he has great respect for the game itself and for our opponents. We just felt like he deserved this award."

Covenant College's Will Crumly was named Player of the Year, while his coach, Neal Young, earned Coach of the Year accolades. Rounding out the individual honors was Berea College's Isaac Caudill who collected the Rookie of the Year award.

All awards are voted on by the men's basketball coach at each institution. The awards will be presented to individuals from teams competing in the semifinal round of the USA South Men's Basketball tournament immediately following the conclusion of the first semifinal contest.

Crumly, a sophomore forward from Marietta, Ga., becomes the first Scot player to earn an individual conference post-season award in the sport of men's basketball since joining the USA South. Crumly concluded the regular season ranked second in both scoring and rebounding, as he averaged 22.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per contest.

He actually accumulated the most total defensive and total rebounds in the League during regular season play. Crumly has scored in double figures each game this season and has posted 10 double-doubles. For his efforts this year, Crumly earns his first all-conference honor as a member of the first team, accumulating two USA South Player of the Week awards during the winter.

Caudill, a Blackley, Ky., freshman guard, becomes the second consecutive Mountaineer to be named USA South Rookie of the Year (Torell Carter, 2018). He led all rookies during the regular season in scoring average (18.2), minutes played (886), field goals made (151), free throws made (91) and defensive rebounding average (5.4). Caudill also averaged 5.9 total rebounds and 1.8 assists per game during the regular season. Finally, Caudill was named USA South Rookie of the Week twice this season. 

Young, in his second season as the head of the Scots, becomes the first Covenant coach to earn an individual conference post-season award in the sport of men's basketball since joining the USA South. Covenant was picked in the USA South Preseason Coaches Poll to finish third in the West Division, and instead, the Scots claimed the program's first regular season USA South West Division title.

Covenant posted a 16-2 USA South record with a current 18-8 overall mark. The 16 league wins are the most since joining the USA South, while the 18 overall victories break a record for number of regular season wins in the NCAA era of the Covenant program. The Scots are now on their way to the USA South Tournament semifinals as the West Division top seed and host.

Player of the Year Rookie of the Year Coach of the Year

Will Crumly

Isaac Caudill

Neal Young

The 2018-19 USA South Men's Basketball All-Conference Team:

First Team Second Team Third Team
Will Crumly, Covenant
AJ Frye, N.C. Wesleyan
Kyle Riddley, Pfeiffer
Calvin Songster, Maryville 
Bailey Spragg, Covenant
Dante Burden, Methodist
Torell Carter, Berea
Jamison McCray, LaGrange
Travis Thompson, LaGrange
Robert Wilson, N.C. Wesleyan
Emier Bowman, Maryville 
Chris Braswell, N.C. Wesleyan
Trey Bryant, William Peace
Dante Hoppa, Maryville 
Jalen McCallum, LaGrange
  All-Sportsmanship Team  
  T.J. McAllister, Averett
Matthew Graham, Berea
Ke'Vel Kingsberry, Brevard
William Bryan, Covenant
Dante White, Greensboro
Dylan Bohling, Huntingdon
Elijah Adedoyin , LaGrange
Kaleb Estes, Maryville
Chris Pernell, Methodist
Chris Sause, N.C. Wesleyan
Nolan Whitener, Pfeiffer
Tariq Abdulgader, Piedmont
Jason Dudley, William Peace