Ellis Earns First-Team All-South Atlantic Conference Honors

Ellis Earns First-Team All-South Atlantic Conference Honors

ROCK HILL, S.C. – On the eve of the South Atlantic Conference Tournament semifinals and championship tilt, Anderson University junior Gage Ellis has earned First Team All-Conference honors as announced by the league office, Thursday morning.

Ellis played in 28 games, while drawing a starting nod in 26 contests. He led the team and ranked fourth in the conference with his 17.9 points per game average. The Greenville, S.C., native also ranked among league leaders in field goal percentage (51.7%), free throw percentage (79.7%) and steals per game (1.7/gm), while reaching double-digit scoring in 27 contests.

Ellis scored a career-high 37 points in December's one-point, double-overtime loss to Lincoln Memorial and reached the 20-point plateau on nine occasions. The 6-foot-3 guard swiped a season-best five steals in the home win over Lenoir-Rhyne and pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds in three games.

Queens forward Shaun Willett was voted the SAC Men's Basketball Player of the Year, while Catawba's Jameel Taylor was voted the Conference's Defensive Player of the Year and Tusculum's Trenton Gibson was voted the SAC Freshman of the Year. In addition, Queens head coach Bart Lundy was tabbed as the Coach of the Year.

Willett, a senior from Palm Bay, Fla., finished the regular season averaging a double-double of 19.6 points and 12 rebounds per game. The conference and national leader in rebounds, Willett has hauled in 360 total rebounds, 113 offensive rebounds and 247 defensive rebounds, this season. He leads the nation in double-doubles, having recorded 24 double-doubles in 30 games this season. For his efforts this season, Willett was named SAC AstroTurf Player of the Week three times and he is a top-50 finalist for the 2019 Bevo Francis Award.

Taylor, a senior guard from Anderson, S.C., was one of the top defenders in the SAC this season with 41 steals, 25 blocks and 150 rebounds. He anchored a Catawba Indian team that allowed just 74.8 points per game this season and held opponents to 42.4 percent from the floor and 32.3 percent from beyond the arc. Along with his defense, Taylor put up some impressive offensive numbers, averaging 15.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

Gibson, a guard from Murfreesboro, Tenn., concluded the regular season playing in all 28 games for the Pioneers, starting 27 of them. He averaged 12.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game. He reached a career-high 21 points twice during the season and scored 20-plus points in three games, scoring in double digits in 22 games.

Lundy led his team to its first-ever outright South Atlantic Conference Championship after claiming the 2018-19 South Atlantic Conference Regular Season Title. His team finished with a conference record of 19-1, and is currently ranked No. 7 in the latest NABC Division II National Coaches Poll.

The Royals finished the regular season setting a new program record for most wins with 27. They are averaging 90.1 points per game, which is No. 1 in the conference and No. 9 nationally. His team also finished as the top field goal and three-point shooting team in the conference this season, hitting 51.3 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from beyond the arc. The Royals closed out the 2018-19 campaign on an eight-game winning streak and have won 22 of their last 23 games.

In addition to Willett and Taylor, Queens' Daniel Carr received First Team honors, along with Wingate's Marco Haskins, Lincoln Memorial's Cornelius Taylor and Ellis.

2018-19 All-South Atlantic Conference

First Team
Shaun Willett, Queens
Marco Haskins, Wingate
Jameel Taylor, Catawba
Cornelius Taylor, Lincoln Memorial
Daniel Carr, Queens
Gage Ellis, Anderson

Second Team
Djibril Diallo, Lenoir-Rhyne
Ja'Shawn Brooks, Mars Hill
Donovan Donaldson, Tusculum
Grant Teichmann, Carson-Newman
Lewis Diankulu, Queens
Marcell Haskett, Catawba

Honorable Mention
Cory Thomas, Lenoir-Rhyne
Angelo Sales Jr., Newberry
Frankie Johnson, Wingate
Kamaran Calhoun, Lincoln Memorial
Anthony Brown, Lincoln Memorial
Van Turner Jr., Queens

Trenton Gibson, Tusculum
Kenny Dye, Queens
Cameron Henry, Lincoln Memorial
Jarren Cottingham, Wingate
Courvoisier McCauley, Lincoln Memorial

Player of the Year
Shaun Willett, Queens

Freshman of the Year
Trenton Gibson, Tusculum

Defensive Player of the Year
Jameel Taylor, Catawba

Coach of the Year
Bart Lundy, Queens

Statistical Champions
Points Per Game – Ja'Shawn Brooks, Mars Hill, 20.0
Three Pointers Per Game – Marco Haskins, Wingate, 3.5
Rebounds Per Game – Shaun Willett, Queens, 12.0
Blocked Shots Per Game – Bertrand Awana, Lenoir-Rhyne, 1.8
Field Goal Percentage – Kamaran Calhoun, Lincoln Memorial, 59.9
Assists Per Game – Shawn Bernard, Anderson, 6.1
Assist-to-Turnover Ratio – Josh Brodowicz, Queens, 3.1
Steals Per Game – Frankie Johnson, Wingate, 2.0
Three Point Field Goal Percentage – Darius Simmons, Lenoir-Rhyne, 60.8
Free Throw Percentage – Ja'Shawn Brooks, Mars Hill, 92.4
Team Scoring Offense – Queens, 90.1
Team Steals – Catawba, 236
Team Field Goal Percentage – Queens, 51.3
Team FG Percentage Defense – Lincoln Memorial, 38.8
Team Assists – Queens, 499
Team Rebounding – Queens, 1,204
Team Blocked Shots – Lincoln Memorial, 124
Team Three Point FG Percentage – Queens, 41.9
Team Scoring Defense – Tusculum, 72.3
Team Free Throw Percentage – Anderson, 75.8
Team Assist-to-Turnover Ratio – Lincoln Memorial/Lenoir-Rhyne, 1.26