ATLANTA (Feb. 25, 2019) - The Southern Athletic Association (SAA) has announced the 2018-19 All-SAA Men's Basketball awards. The award winners were selected exclusively by the league's head men's basketball coaches and the conference office.
Elijah Hirsh of Berry won the SAA Player of the Year honor. Tom Inungu of Oglethorpe was named the SAA Defensive Player of the Year while Hendrix freshman Seth Stanley captured the league's SAA Newcomer of the Year honor. Finally, after leading Centre to another conference championship, Greg Mason was named the SAA Coach of the Year.
In only his final season for the Vikings, Hirsh was outstanding. The Viking led the league in rebounding with an average of 9.2 boards per game. He also led the SAA in offensive rebounds (88), total rebounds (229), and points per 40 min (22.7). Overall, Hirsh was second behind only Luke Smith of Sewanee in points with an average of 17.2 points per game.
In conference play, Hirsh ranked first in points, points per game, points per 40 minutes, blocks (27), rebounds, and rebounds per game. Most important, Hirsh led Berry to an 11-3 conference record under first-year head coach Mitch Cole.
The other top forward in the league was Inungu. Along with averaging 12.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, the OU senior led the league in blocks with 54. He also ranked ninth in steals (28). Alongside his teammates, Inungu led Oglethorpe to the fourth best defense in the SAA. The Stormy Petrels led the league in blocks per game while ranking fourth in steals. Opponents only scored an average of 66.8 points per game.
Stanley opened his collegiate career with an average of 14.5 points per game. The outstanding shooter ranked 16th in field goal percentage at 41.8 percent. At the free throw line, he was even better. Stanley made 79.2 percent of his attempts, which ranked third overall.
Finally, Mason won SAA Coach of the Year for the second straight season. It is Mason's third SAA top honor. Centre's all-time winningest head coach has now won the award in 2018-19, 2017-18, and 2013-14. Under this leadership, Centre won its fourth SAA Regular Season Championship.
The Colonels finished the regular season with a 21-4 record overall and a 12-2 mark in SAA action. Centre led the league in field goal percentage, assists, and fewest points allowed per game.