October 23, 2012

Harris, Dillard named to OVC preseason honor squads


FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech seniors Jala Harris and Jud Dillard are among the players honored this season with selection to the preseason All-OVC squads. The teams were announced Tuesday at the annual OVC Media Day.

Tech's two basketball teams will be on display Thursday night at the first Purple Palooza, a free event in Eblen Center.

Jala Harris was named to the 2011-12 all-OVC second-team, solidifying a spot on the 2012-13 preseason all-OVC team.

After becoming eligible following fall semester exams due to NCAA transfer rules, Harris played in 20 games last season and she made an instant impact for the Golden Eagles. She finished second on the team in scoring, averaging 14.7 points per game. Last season she also netted a spot on the OVC all-Newcomer team for her efforts.

Harris was named OVC Newcomer of the Week three times, finished the 2011-12 campaign second in 3-point field goals with 24 and third on the team in assists with 62. Harris also scored a spot on the OVC all-tournament team last season.

Joining Harris on the Preseason all-OVC team are Eastern Illinois’ Ta’Kenya Nixon, Mariah King, and Sydney Mitchell, UT Martin’s Jasmine Newsome and Heather Butler, SIUE’s Raven Berry, Murray State’s Erica Burgess, Tennessee State’s Jasmin Shuler, and Eastern Kentucky’s Marie Carpenter.

The preseason OVC Player of the Year is Heather Butler from UT Martin.

Senior guard Jud Dillard, the top returning player for the Golden Eagles, finds his name among the elite of the OVC after last season’s performance, earning a spot on the all-OVC preseason team. Dillard, who was named to the all-OVC first-team, led the conference in rebounding and finished fourth in scoring last season. His eight double-doubles tied for the second most in the conference in 2011-12. He will look to continue his stellar play and improvement, despite what many believe will be a tough season as defenses are sure to key on him with the absence of former Golden Eagle and NBA draft pick Kevin Murphy.

Joining Dillard on the preseason all-OVC team is preseason OVC Player of the Year Isaiah Canaan of Murray State. The Racer star won his second OVC Player of the Year award last season while leading the Racers to national recognition, ranking as high as No. 8 in the nation and losing only two games the entire year.

Others named to the preseason squad include: Ian Clark and Kerron Johnson of Belmont, Robert Covington and Patrick Mikler of Tennessee State, Ed Daniel of Murray State, Marland Smith and  Tyler Stone of Southeast Missouri, and Mark Yelovich from SIU Edwardsville.

Season tickets for the 2012-13 Golden Eagle home games are on sale at the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center, or by calling (931) 372-3940.

2012-13 Women's Basketball Preseason all-OVC Team
Ta’Kenya Nixon – Eastern Illinois
Jasmine Newsome – UT Martin
Heather Butler – UT Martin
Raven Berry – SIUE
Mariah King – Eastern Illinois
Erica Burgess – Murray State
Jasmin Shuler – Tennessee State
Jala Harris – Tennessee Tech
Sydney Mitchell – Eastern Illinois
Marie Carpenter – Eastern Kentucky
Preseason OVC Player of the Year: Heather Butler, UT Martin

2012-13 Men's Basketball Preseason all-OVC Team
Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
Ian Clark, Belmont
Robert Covington, Tennessee State
Ed Daniel, Murray State
Jud Dillard, Tennessee Tech
Kerron Johnson, Belmont
Patrick Miller, Tennessee State
Marland Smith, Southeast Missouri
Tyler Stone, Southeast Missouri
Mark Yelovich, SIUE
Preseason OVC Player of the Year: Isaiah Canaan, Murray State