October 27, 2011

USA Today names Swansey OVC Preseason Player of the Year

Senior guard joins Murphy as league POY honoree

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — Preseason accolades continue to pour in for Tennessee Tech, and this time, it’s senior guard Zac Swansey garnering high honors from a national media source.

The USA Today named Swansey its Preseason Player of the Year in the Ohio Valley Conference in its college basketball preview publication released earlier this month. The newspaper, which boasts a circulation of 1.8 million, also named senior guard Murphy a first-team All-OVC selection.

Swansey is the second Golden Eagle to garner attention as a Player of the Year candidate — Murphy drew the honor in official OVC voting and also from CBS Sports and the Sporting News.

“Our offense runs through him and he makes everyone around him better,” head coach Steve Payne said of Swansey. “He’s obviously deserving. He gets the ball where it needs to go for us, and I’m happy to see him receive the recognition.”

Swansey piloted the OVC’s most productive offense a season ago and posted near record-breaking assist numbers. He distributed double-figure assists in six games and ranked seventh in NCAA Division I in assists per game.

He also did his share of scoring, averaging just shy of 10 points per game and earning a reputation as a clutch shooter in his first season with the Golden Eagles.

Murphy, also a senior guard, was Tech’s leading scorer in 2010-11 and ranked third in the OVC, averaging 17 points per contest. He was an all-OVC first-team selection a season ago.

Murphy was also recently named one of five all-OVC selections by CollegeHoops.net. Also on the list were Austin Peay’s TyShwan Edmondson, Eastern Illinois’ Jeremy Granger, Southeast Missouri’s Leon Powell and Tennessee State’s Kenny Moore.

The Golden Eagles open the 2011-12 season at Miami on Nov. 11. Tech hosts its first home contest against Reinhardt College on Nov. 15 at the Eblen Center.

Season tickets for the 2011-12 Golden Eagle home schedule are currently on sale at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center, or by calling (931) 372-3940.