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February 28, 2012

Murphy, Dillard named to All-OVC First Team

Two Golden Eagles featured on team for first time since 2008

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Ohio Valley Conference coaches and sports information directors have spoken, and two of the top five players in the league belong to Tennessee Tech.

Senior guard Kevin Murphy and junior guard Jud Dillard were named to the All-OVC First Team on Tuesday, tying Tech with Murray State for most players named on the squad.

The All-OVC selection was Murphy's second after being named to the First Team a season ago. The honor was Dillard's first.

"They've both worked really hard and they're both certainly deserving," said head coach Steve Payne. "Jud is one of the most improved players in our league and he has a tremendous amount of toughness. Kevin has had a big-time year."

Murphy leads the OVC and ranks 12th in NCAA Division I in scoring, averaging 20.6 per contest. He moved into second on Tech's all-time scoring list when he became the first and only player in the nation to score 50 points in a game this season on Jan. 30 against SIU Edwardsville.

Murphy has 1,957 career points and will become Tech's all-time leader in games played when he steps on the floor Thursday for the OVC Tournament quarterfinals. He has scored in double-figures in 25 of Tech's 30 games this season, recorded 20-plus points in 16 outings and scored more than 30 four times.

The Atlanta, Ga., native has shot 42.9 percent from three-point range, an efficiency rate that ranks fourth in the league, and has averaged 2.4 threes per outing, ranking second in the conference.

Dillard is the OVC's leading rebounder and ranks fourth in the league in scoring. The Riverdale, Ga., native is averaging 18.0 points per contest and pulling down 8.7 boards, numbers that put him in the top 60 in NCAA Division I in both categories.

He upped his scoring average more than seven points from his sophomore season and improved his rebounding numbers by more than three boards an outing. He also posts a field-goal percentage of 52.3, also good enough to rank in the NCAA's top 60.

Dillard has posted eight double-doubles and scored in double-figures in 27 of 30 games. He has led Tech in rebounding in 25 games.

Ninth-ranked Murray State nearly swept the league's superlative awards with Isaiah Canaan winning Player of the Year, Jewuan Long taking Defensive Player of the Year and Steve Prohm being named Coach of the Year. UT Martin's Myles Taylor was named Freshman of the Year.

2011-12 All-OVC Teams and Award Winners
OVC Player of the Year: Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
OVC Defensive Player of the Year: Jewuan Long, Murray State
OVC Freshman of the Year: Myles Taylor, UT Martin
OVC Coach of the Year: Steve Prohm, Murray State

All-OVC First Team:
Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
Robert Covington, Tennessee State
Kevin Murphy, Tennessee Tech
Donte Poole, Murray State
Jud Dillard, Tennessee Tech
 
All-OVC Second Team:

Jaron Jones, Eastern Kentucky
Tyler Stone, Southeast Missouri
John Fraley, Austin Peay
Jeremy Granger, Eastern Illinois
Ivan Aska, Murray State
Mark Yelovich, SIUE
 
All-Newcomer Team:

Tyler Stone, Southeast Missouri
Myles Taylor, UT Martin
Mike DiNunno, Eastern Kentucky
Kellen Thornton, Tennessee State
Jerome Jones, SIUE