Monday, March 01, 2010Valparaiso redshirt sophomore guard Brandon Wood (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo [Highland C.C./Southern Illinois]) was named the Horizon League Newcomer of the Year today as the league unveiled its postseason awards. In addition, both Wood and Cory Johnson (Duluth, Minn./Duluth East [Iowa State]) earned spots on the All-League Second Team, as well as the All-Newcomer Team.
Wood ends the regular season as the league’s scoring champion, averaging 17.5 points per game over the course of the year. He scored in double figures in 28 of Valpo’s 31 regular season games, including 11 games of 20 or more points, and paced the Crusaders in scoring 17 times. Back in November, he established a new Valpo single-game Division I record, pouring in 39 points in a victory at Georgia Southern.
Wood also ranked among the top ten in the league in both free throw percentage (.810, 7th) and 3-pointers made (1.7/game, 7th). He becomes just the fourth Crusader in program history to be named a conference Newcomer of the Year, joining Mid-Con honorees Lance Barker (1991-92), Bryce Drew (1994-95) and Lubos Barton (1998-99).
Johnson closed the regular season averaging 15.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, good for fifth and seventh in the league, respectively. He also connected at a 55.5% clip from the floor on the year, second-best among Horizon League players and among the top-25 in the nation. Johnson posted 27 double-figure scoring efforts on the year, including 20 or more points on eight occasions, and led Valpo on the boards 14 times.
This year marks the first time since 2004-05 that multiple Crusaders have earned all-conference honors (Dan Oppland, Ron Howard). It also is the first time in over a decade that Valpo has placed more than one player on the first-year squad (1998-99: Lubos Barton, Ivan Vujic).
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