GREENWOOD, IN – Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Julian Strickland (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) has been named the 2013-2014 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player and headlines the 12-member All-HCAC 1st and 2nd teams. It is the second straight HCAC MVP honor for Strickland, becoming the first player since Franklin’s Jason Sibley (1997-98 & 1998-99) to earn back-to-back MVP awards.
The senior guard led the Engineers to their second HCAC men’s basketball title and third straight HCAC tournament crown. Rose-Hulman holds a 22-5 overall record heading into NCAA tournament play Friday evening.
Strickland led the conference in scoring (21.8 ppg) and ranked among the conference leaders in rebounds (5.9), assists (3.4), free-throw percentage (83.6%), steals (1.1), and three-point field goal percentage (38.4%) during conference play this season. Overall for the season, Strickland averaged 22.9 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per contest, and shot 46.8% from the field.
Rose-Hulman compiled a 15-3 conference mark, claiming a share of the regular season title with Defiance. RHIT will tangle with Wheaton (IL) in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Hope College in Holland, Michigan Friday evening.
Hanover College’s V.J. Billups (Jeffersonville, Ind./H.S.) has also received special recognition by the conference. The freshman forward has been named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year. Billups ranked second on the Panthers in scoring during conference play, averaging 12.7 points per game. He finished eighth in the HCAC in field goal percentage (53.3%).
Rose-Hulman head coach Jim Shaw has been named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for the second time. Shaw led the Engineers to their second HCAC men’s basketball title and a third consecutive HCAC tournament title. Rose has compiled a 22-5 overall record this season and will face Wheaton (IL) in the first round of the NCAA tournament at Hope College in Holland, Michigan Friday evening.
Strickland is one of 12 players named to the All-HCAC first or second team. There are four seniors, five juniors, and three sophomores on the team this season. The eight-member Honorable Mention All-HCAC team and All-Sportsmanship team has also been named. A complete list of the recipients of conference awards follow:
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