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Golden Eagles Dillard, Samarrippas garner All-OVC selections


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – With the 2012-13 regular season officially in the books for the Tennessee Tech men's basketball team, little remains to do but honor those players who stood out most in the eyes of the Ohio Valley Conference coaches and sports information directors.

Two Golden Eagle players received all-OVC honors this season, the second year in a row that Tech has placed two individuals among the conference awards.

Senior guard Jud Dillard was named to the all-OVC second-team on Tuesday, his third honor as an all-OVC selection. As a sophomore, Dillard was named to the 2011 OVC all-tournament team and last season was named All-OVC first-team.

Also garnering league recognition was transfer point guard Jeremiah Samarrippas, who earned a place on the OVC all-newcomer team. Samarrippas, who transferred from SMU prior to the 2012-13 season, was given immediate eligibiltiy by the NCAA, leading to a strong performance in his frist year in the purple and gold.

"You just can't say enough about how hard those guys worked all year," said head coach Steve Payne. "Jud has been one of the toughest players to ever put on a Golden Eagle uniform and Jeremiah was extremely important to our team this season at the point. Both guys played through injuries during conference play and had fantastic seasons, regardless. They are more than deserving of these awards."

Dillard closed out his illustrious career ranked sixth on the all-time Tech scoring list, pouring in over 1,700 points in four season. He finished seventh all-time in rebounding for Tech, grabbing over 800 boards in nearly 3,500 minutes of action. He also tied for fourth in career games played, appearing in 123 contests for the Golden Eagles, including 79 starts.

In addition to his all-OVC awards, Dillard earned weekly honors five times throughout his career, being named OVC Freshman of the Week three times and OVC Player of the Week twice. He put up the best scoring numbers of his career, averaging 19.3 points per game, which was good enough to finish second in the OVC. He also ranked fourth in the conference in rebounds, pulling down 7.8 per contest.

The senior used stellar scoring and rebounding throughout his career to tally 26 double-doubles, including 10 this season alone. He numbers were so good, he ranks as the highest rebounding guard and third-highest scoring guard in school history.

Samarrippas played great in his first season at Tech, making 28 starts in 29 games played. He averaged just under 10 points per game while dishing out over four assists per game. He was also fourth in the league in steals, swiping 1.8 each time out.

For just the fourth time in the 65-year history of the Ohio Valley Conference, two players shared the Player of the Year Award as Murray State senior guard Isaiah Canaan and Belmont senior guard Ian Clark split the vote. In additional voting Clark also took home OVC Defensive Player of the Year honors while Belmont head coach Rick Byrd was named OVC Coach of the Year and Austin Peay center Chris Horton was named OVC Freshman of the Year.

2012-13 All-OVC Teams and Award Winners
OVC Co-Players of the Year: Ian Clark, Belmont and Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
OVC Defensive Player of the Year: Ian Clark, Belmont
OVC Freshman of the Year: Chris Horton, Austin Peay
OVC Coach of the Year: Rick Byrd, Belmont

All-OVC First Team:
Ian Clark, Belmont
Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
Mike DiNunno, Eastern Kentucky
Kerron Johnson, Belmont
Ed Daniel, Murray State
Patrick Miller, Tennessee State
 
All-OVC Second Team:

Jud Dillard, Tennessee Tech
Robert Covington, Tennessee State
Kellen Thornton, Tennessee State
Tarvin Gaines, Jacksonville State
Tyler Stone, Southeast Missouri
 
All-Newcomer Team:

Glenn Cosey, Eastern Kentucky
Travis Betran, Austin Peay
Corey Walden, Eastern Kentucky
Jeremiah Samarrippas, Tennessee Tech
Sherman Blanford, Eastern Illinois
Chris Horton, Austin Peay