Eastern Illinois senior Trae Anderson earned first team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors this season as the Panthers get set to play in the OVC Tournament in Nashville on Wednesday night. Anderson was one of ten players named to the OVC first team as the league adopted a new post season awards format. In a change from previous years the All-OVC first-team was increased from five to 10 players this year in order to honor more deserving student-athletes. Including five second-team members there are 15 total players honored across the two teams (in addition to five All-Newcomer team selections).
Anderson led the Panthers in scoring this season averaging 15 points per game, increasing that average to 15.8 points per game in OVC play. He ended the season with six straight double figure scoring games including a 22-point effort as EIU beat Murray State on senior night in Lantz Arena. His season high was 31 points at Marshall as part of the Global Sports Classic. Anderson ranked 11th in the OVC in scoring, 15th n the field goal percentage and 10th in blocked shots.
Last season Anderson was named to the OVC second team and OVC All-Newcomer teams. He becomes the first EIU player since Henry Domercant to earn multiple All-OVC first or second team honors in his career and only the fourth EIU player ever to earn multiple All-OVC honors in the Panthers 20-years in the league.
Eastern Illinois finished the regular season at 13-16 overall, 9-7 in the OVC. It marked EIU’s second consecutive winning record in the league and first time EIU has posted back-to-back winning OVC seasons since the 1999-2000 & 2000-01 seasons. The Panthers will play Murray State on Wednesday night to open OVC Tournament play. EIU is one of four teams in the tournament field that have made the OVC Tournament each of the last four years joining Belmont, Morehead State and Murray State.
This year’s first and second-team All-OVC squads included 15 players from nine different OVC schools. Eastern Kentucky led the way with three selections (one first-team, two second-team) while Austin Peay, Belmont, Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech had two players apiece. The first and second-teams included nine seniors, four juniors, one sophomore and one freshman.
Evan Bradds of Belmont was named the OVC Player of the Year. Tahjere McCall of Tennessee State was named the OVC Defensive Player of the Year while TSU head coach Dana Ford was named the OVC Coach of the Year. Nick Mayo of Eastern Kentucky took home OVC Freshman of the Year honors.
Joining Anderson on the OVC first team this season were Bradds, McCall, Mayo, Torrance Rowe of Tennessee Tech, Chris Horton of Austin Peay, Craig Bradshaw of Belmont, Twymond Howard of UT Martin, Keron DeShields of Tennessee State, and Jeffery Moss of Murray State.
The OVC second team includes Jarelle Reischel and JaVontae Hawkins of Eastern Kentucky, Ryan Martin of Tennessee Tech, Josh Robinson of Austin Peay and Corban Collins of Morehead State.
The OVC All-Newcomer team included DeShields, McCall, Reischel, Mayo and Martin.