26 Conference Titles | 16 NCAA Tournament Appearances | 11 All-Americans | Two Rhodes Scholars | Two Final Fours
Three Colonels Named All-SAA; Ayers Tabbed as Newcomer of the Year
ATLANTA (CentreColonels.com) – The Southern Athletic Association (SAA) announced its 2016-17 men's basketball all-conference awards on Friday afternoon, with three Centre men's basketball players garnering All-SAA recognition.
Sophomore guard Tucker Sine (Bowling Green, Ky.) earned First Team All-SAA honors, while senior guard Matt Gump (Bellefontaine, Ohio) and freshman guard Perry Ayers (Bowling Green, Ky.) collected Honorable Mention All-SAA accolades. In addition, Ayers was named the SAA Newcomer of the Year.
Hendrix's Hank Aldous was tabbed as the SAA Player of the Year with Rhodes' Tyler Gee picking up Defensive Player of the Year honors. Rhodes' Mike DeGeorge was selected as the Coach of the Year in the league.
Sine earns his first All-SAA nod as a sophomore, pacing the Colonels and ranking sixth in the SAA in scoring at 14.7 points per game. He is also the team's second-leading rebounder at 4.7 boards per game while dishing out 49 assists on the year. The 6'2'' guard is second in the conference in free throw percentage, connecting on 89.1 percent (82-of-92) of attempts from the charity stripe while sitting second in the league with a 46.2 3-point percentage (54-of-117).
He has 16 double-figure scoring games on the season, including a pair of 30-point performances and five 20-point outputs. The Bowling Green, Ky. native poured in a career-high 36 points on 11-of-17 shooting in an 84-68 win over Berry on Feb. 5. He shot 6-of-10 from behind the arc and 8-of-11 from the free throw line to go with nine boards in the victory.
Sine finished with 33 markers in an 86-79 triumph over Case Western Reserve on Dec. 30, shooting 11-of-20 from the floor, 7-of-14 from long range and 4-of-4 on free throws.
This marks Gump's third All-SAA nod as the senior is averaging 7.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per contest. The senior guard ranks third in the SAA with a 2.5 assist-to-turnover ratio.
He has scored in double-figures in six games this season, highlighted by a 20-point showing in an 82-73 win over intrastate foe Thomas More, connecting on 7-of-10 field goals in the victory.
Gump has dished out at least five assists in four contests this season. He recorded a season-high seven dimes in the Colonels' win over Case Western.
Ayers is enjoying an outstanding freshman campaign for the Colonels, averaging 10.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He sits fifth in the conference in free throw percentage, shooting 79.2 percent (76-of-96) from the line. In addition, Ayers is shooting 50.6 percent (79-of-156) from the field and 40.0 percent (8-of-20) from behind the arc.
The 6'3'' guard also leads all SAA freshman averaging 12.5 points per contest in league action despite coming off the bench in 12 of 14 conference games.
Ayers has tallied double-figure points in 11 games this season, buoyed by a 33-point showing in a 106-100 win over SAA regular season champion Rhodes. He shot 9-of-14 from the field and 15-of-17 from the free throw line to go with four rebounds and six assists in the triumph, as well.
The Bowling Green, Ky. native has come on strong to close the regular season, reaching double-figures in four of his last five games, including a 22-point performance at Hendrix on Feb. 12.
Centre opens the 2016-17 SAA Tournament on Friday night taking on Berry at 6 p.m. CT at Rhodes. The Colonels topped the Vikings twice this season by scores of 85-69 and 84-68. Centre is seeking its first SAA Tournament crown and NCAA Tournament appearance since 2014.