March 3, 2008
Contact: Brian McCann
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Two days after helping the Viking basketball team to become just the second team in league history to go from 20 losses in one season to 20 wins in the next, Vikings juniors J'Nathan Bullock and Cedric Jackson and head coach Gary Waters each received recognition in the various Horizon League men's basketball awards, which were released by the league office on Monday morning.
Bullock was named to the All-Horizon League first team while Jackson was named a second team honoree. In addition, Jackson was tabbed for both the Horizon League All-Defensive and All-Newcomer squads. Waters shared Horizon League Coach of the Year honors with Wright State's Brad Brownell.
"I am very happy for both J'Nathan and Cedric because these honors show that the league membership recognizes the role that they played in our improvement this season," CSU head coach Gary Waters said. "Our success has truly been the result of a team effort, but J'Nathan and Cedric were the two who have stepped up and served as leaders all season long."
Bullock, a 6-5, 240-pound forward from Flint, Mich., is the first Viking to receive first team all-league honors since Theo Dixon accomplished it in 2000-01. He leads the team in scoring (14.6) and rebounding (6.5) to become one of 10 players in CSU history to score 1,000 points and grab 500 rebounds in a career (he has 1,190 points and 531 rebounds). He is only the third player in school history to lead the team in scoring in each of his first three seasons.
Jackson, a 6-3, 190-pound guard from Columbus, N.J., is he first player in program history to receive recognition on multiple Horizon League squads. He finished the year as the Horizon League leader in steals (83) and assists (159), ranking third and fourth, respectively on the CSU single season lists. He was second on the team in scoring (14.2 ppg) and rebounding (4.9).
"I am not surprised that Gary Waters is the Horizon League Co-Coach of the Year," CSU Director of Athletics Lee Reed said. "I knew the day that we brought in Gary to take over as head coach that he was capable of turning this program into a winner and his work with the Vikings this year has been outstanding. To do what he has done with the program in two years put him among the elite coaches in the country."
Inheriting a program that had averaged 20.5 losses over the previous four seasons and hadn't recorded a winning season since 2000-01, Waters worked quickly to turn the team around. After a 10-21 first season, he added 10 new players to the roster and the results were immediate, allowing the Vikings to go 20-11 this year to become only the second team in league history to go from 20 losses in one season to 20 wins the next.
Bullock is joined on the all-league first team by Butlers A.J. Graves and Mike Green, UIC's Josh Mayo and Wright State's Vaughn Duggins. The second team was comprised of Butler's Matt Howard, Detroit's Jon Goode, Green Bay's Mike Schachtner, Paige Paulsen of Milwaukee and Jackson.
The all-newcomer team consisted of Matt Howard from Butler, Rahmon Fletcher from Green Bay, Milwaukee's Deonte Roberts, Youngstown State's Vytas Sulskis and Jackson with Howard being tabbed as the newcomer of the year.
The all-defensive team included Mike Green and Drew Streicher from Butler, UIC's Scott VanderMeer and Jackson with Green Bay's Terry Evans being chosen as the defensive player of the year.
Green was named the league's player of the year and Valparaiso's Jarryd Loyd was picked as the sixth man of the year.
Cleveland State, which claimed the No. 2 seed in this week's Horizon League Championship, receives a first and second round bye in the tourney and will begin play in the championship with a semi-final game on Saturday, March 8 at 4:30 p.m. in Indianapolis.