CHARLOTTE, N.C. – High Point University senior Arizona Reid (Gaffney, S.C.) has been voted the Big South Conference 2007-08 Preseason Men’s Basketball Player of the Year by the League’s Head Coaches, Sports Information Directors and media panel, it was announced today at the Conference’s annual Basketball Tip-Off Media Luncheon at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Concord, N.C. This year’s preseason All-Conference team features four players who were named to the League’s All-Freshman team in 2004-05.
Reid was the Conference’s Player of the Year in 2006-07, after leading the Big South in rebounding (9.5 per game) and finishing second in scoring (21.0) – the first player in League history to average 20 points and nine rebounds in one season. He was an honorable mention All-American by the Associated Press last season and received All-District honors from the USBWA and the NABC. Reid also was fourth in the Big South in field goal percentage (.509), 10th in free throw percentage, tied for 13th in blocks per game, fourth in offensive rebounds and first in defensive rebounds. In League play last year, Reid increased his totals to 26.0 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. He also scored in double figures in 29 games, including 19 straight, surpassed the 20-point mark 19 times with five 30-point outings, and brought down a Big South single-game record 25 rebounds against VMI in late February. Reid received 21 first-place votes and finished with 134 points in the voting to earn a spot on the preseason All-Conference team.
2007-08 Big South Conference Men’s Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team
Arizona Reid, High Point, Sr., F
Reggie Williams, VMI, Sr., F
Michael Jenkins, Winthrop, Sr., G
Jack Leasure, Coastal Carolina, Sr., G
Chris Gaynor, Winthrop, Sr., G
Williams, who received six first-place votes and 106 total points, became the first player in Big South history to lead the nation in scoring last year with his League-record 28.1 points per game average. He was named NABC All-District 4 second-team, ranked in the top four in the Conference in points (1st), rebounding (4th), field goal percentage (3rd) and assists (3rd), and also ranked ninth in free throw percentage and 10th in steals. Williams set new Big South and VMI records for most points in a season (928), became the first player in Conference history to log three 40-point games in a career and topped 40+ points in four games last season. He had nine double-doubles, scored in double figures in 31 games last season and had 15 30-point games. Williams needs just 351 points to become the Big South’s all-time leading scorer.
Jenkins enjoyed a breakout season last year for the Eagles as he earned First-team All-Conference honors as well as All-Tournament team accolades in his first year as a starter. He developed into one of the team’s top scoring threats as well as being a defensive stopper on the perimeter. He led Winthrop in scoring with 14.8 points per game and surpassed every single season individual career best last year. Jenkins led the Big South in three-point shooting percentage (41.5 percent), scored in double figures 27 times and tied a school and Big South record for three-pointers in a game with 12 vs. North Greenville. He led the Eagles to a 77-66 win over Missouri State in the ESPNU BracketBusters with his 25-point performance and seven 3-pointers, and posted seven rebounds and 11 assists in Winthrop’s 74-64 NCAA Tournament win over Notre Dame.
Leasure has been a Conference honoree all three seasons at Coastal Carolina – All-Freshman in 2005, First-team All-Conference and Player of the Year in 2006 and Second-team All-Conference in 2007. He led CCU to its second .500-or-better season last year for the first time since 1993-94, and became just the 14th player in CCU history to reach 1,000 points in his career (currently at 1,424). Leasure enters his senior year third all-time in Big South history with 300 career three-pointers. In 2006-07, he led Coastal and ranked seventh in the League at 15.6 points per game. He also ranked in the top 10 in the Conference in three pointers (3.0 pg), three-point field goal percentage (.372), assists (3.6 pg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8). He scored in double-figures in 12-of-14 League games last year and 25-of-30 games overall.
Gaynor was named Collegeinsider.com’s National Mid-Major Most Valuable Player in 2006-07 after helping the Eagles to a 29-5 overall record, 14-0 Big South mark and NCAA Tournament first round win. He has started all 95 games of his career at Winthrop (out of 98) and has been the Eagles’ floor general since his freshman season. He ranked first in the Big South last year in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.16) and was fourth in assists (4.39), while adding eight points a game. Gaynor saw his career games started streak end due to an injury in early December, but he still led the squad with 46 steals and ranked among the Conference leaders in the steals category. He scored a career-high 19 points vs. Liberty on Feb. 6 to help fuel a 80-76 come-from-behind win. He enters his senior season in fourth-place on the Winthrop all-time assist list with 427.