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Furman’s Sibley Named SoCon Player Of The Year, Medved Earns Coach Of The Year Honors

Devin Sibley, Kris Acox and Jordan Lyons
Devin Sibley, Kris Acox and Jordan Lyons

Greenville, S.C. -- Furman guard Devin Sibley has been named as the consensus Southern Conference Player of the Year and Niko Medved has been tabbed as SoCon Coach of the Year by both the league's coaches and media, it was announced on Wednesday morning by the league office.

Sibley garnered first team all-conference in voting by the coaches and media, while senior Kris Acox was selected to the second team by both groups. Guard Jordan Lyons was named as a SoCon All-Freshman selection by the coaches.

Sibley, a native of Knoxville, Tenn., averaged 17.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game during the regular season, while leading Furman to a 21-10 overall record, 14-4 SoCon mark and a share of the school's first regular season league title since 1991. The junior, who scored in double figures in all but three games this season, poured in 18.6 points per game in league play and tallied a career-best 32 points in a 99-91 victory at The Citadel on February 4. Sibley's selection as player of the year, coupled with Stephen Croone's selection last season, gives Furman back-to-back consensus players of the year for the first time since Jonathan Moore earned the award in 1979 and 1980.

Medved, 43, is in his fourth season at the helm of the Paladin program and is the first Furman head coach to earn SoCon Coach of the Year honors since Butch Estes was tabbed the top coach in the league in 1991. A native of St. Paul, Minn., Medved guided Furman to its first SoCon regular season title in 26 years, its first 20-win since 2011 and the No. 2 seed in this week's SoCon Men's Basketball Championship in Asheville, N.C. During his fourth season in 2017, Medved helped the Paladins to a 10-game winning streak, established a new school record with 10 true road victories and helped Furman extend its SoCon home winning streak to 16 games. He has led Furman to a 40-26 record over the past two seasons.

Acox, a second team All-SoCon selection by the media and coaches, has averaged 13 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in 31 contests this season. The Reykjavik, Iceland, native has contributed 14.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in 18 SoCon games, while leading the league by shooting 68.2% from the field. Acox has registered eight double-doubles this season and connected on 12-of-14 shots last Saturday to tally a career-high 25 points in Furman's victory over Wofford in the regular season finale.

Lyons, a Peachtree City, Ga., product, played in 30 games and averaged 6.3 points per game as a rookie. The guard shot 36% (45-125) from three-point range and scored in double figures seven times during league play, including a 17-point outing in a victory over VMI at Timmons Arena.

Furman opens play in the SoCon Men's Basketball Championship quarterfinals on Saturday at 6 p.m. against either No. 7 seed Samford or No. 10 seed VMI. The winner will advance to Sunday's 7:30 p.m. semifinal with Monday's championship game set for 7 p.m. The SoCon Tournament will be streamed on ESPN3 with the championship game shown live on ESPN2.

2017 Men's Basketball Awards - Coaches

All-Conference First Team
T.J. Cromer, ETSU
Devin Sibley, Furman
Justin Tuoyo, Chattanooga
Eric Garcia, Wofford
Fletcher Magee, Wofford

All-Conference Second Team
Kris Acox, Furman
Ria'n Holland, Mercer
Francis Alonso, UNCG
Diante Baldwin, UNCG
QJ Peterson, VMI

All-Conference Third Team
Desonta Bradford, ETSU
R.J. White, UNCG
Demetrius Denzel-Dyson, Samford
Wyatt Walker, Samford
Tre' McLean, Chattanooga


All-Freshman Team
Preston Parks, The Citadel
Jordan Lyons, Furman
James Dickey, UNCG
Josh Sharkey, Samford
Nathan Hoover, Wofford


Player of the Year
Devin Sibley, Jr., G, Furman

Defensive Player of the Year
Justin Tuoyo, Sr., F, Chattanooga

Freshman of the Year
Preston Parks, G, The Citadel

Coach of the Year
Niko Medved, Furman


2017 Men's Basketball Awards - Media

All-Conference First Team
T.J. Cromer, ETSU
Devin Sibley, Furman
QJ Peterson, VMI
Eric Garcia, Wofford
Fletcher Magee, Wofford

All-Conference Second Team
Kris Acox, Furman
Ria'n Holland, Mercer
Francis Alonso, UNCG
Diante Baldwin, UNCG
Justin Tuoyo, Chattanooga

All-Conference Third Team
Preston Parks, The Citadel
R.J. White, UNCG
Demetrius Denzel-Dyson, Samford
Wyatt Walker, Samford
Tre' McLean, Chattanooga


All-Freshman Team
Preston Parks, The Citadel
Josh Sharkey, Samford
James Dickey, UNCG
Nathan Hoover, Wofford
Kaelon Harris, The Citadel
Triston Chambers, Samford
*due to a tie in the voting the All-Freshman team consists of six members


Malcolm U. Pitt Player of the Year
Devin Sibley, Jr., G, Furman

Freshman of the Year
Preston Parks, G, The Citadel

Anton Foy Coach of the Year
Niko Medved, Furman


Notes:
- Furman's Devin Sibley becomes the second straight Paladin to be named the league's Player of the Year by both the league's coaches and media, following Stephen Croone in 2015-16.




Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information