Published 9:46 am Thursday, March 12, 2015

Wesley Person claims Freshman of the Year, Third Team Honors


Troy men’s basketball standout guard Wesley Person became the first Trojan in Troy’s Division I era to earn Freshman of the Year honors, the Sun Belt Conference announced on Tuesday.

Person also earned a spot on the All-Sun Belt third team, the first Trojan to earn all-conference honors since the 2010-11 season. He is just the second freshman to receive freshman of the year, the first being Anthony Reed in 1986-87 in the Gulf South Conference. Reed, a member of Troy’s hall of fame, is Troy’s all-time leading scorer.

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“As a coaching staff, we are extremely proud of Wesley for being selected as the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year,” said head coach Phil Cunningham. “Wesley earned this award because he consistently played at a high level throughout the course of 20 league games, and his statistics back up that claim. Coaches place a premium on consistency, and that happens to be one of Wesley’s greatest characteristics, whether it be his practice habits, game preparation, or game production. So, we weren’t surprised when the other league coaches recognized him with this award. The fact that Wesley is the first Troy player to win such an award in our NCAA Division 1 history is also an impressive feat. Most importantly, Wesley is succeeding on and off the court, as he was recently honored as being part of the athletic department’s 3.5 GPA club as well. I’m sure that honor is just as significant to his mom and dad!”

Both the individual awards and all-conference teams were voted upon by the league’s head coaches and selected media personnel.

Person managed lofty expectations throughout the season, as he scored in double figures in 26 of Troy’s 29 games, accumulating 412 points in the 2014-15 season, the most by a freshman in Troy’s Division I era, breaking the previous record held by Robert Rushing in 1998-99.

Person is the only freshman ranked in the Sun Belt’s top-10 in scoring and 3-pointers made per game. He ended the year averaging 14.2 points per game, which ranks ninth in the conference, and first amongst freshmen. On the year, he sank an average of 2.6 3-pointers per game, ranking third overall in the Sun Belt.

Person’s impressive stat line allowed him to rank fourth amongst NCAA freshmen in 3-pointers per game and 3-point field goal percentage as he ended the year shooting 37.2 percent from long range, the seventh best in the conference.

In conference-only play, Person ranked eighth, first amongst freshman, with 14.4 points per contest. He ranked tied for third with fellow Trojan, Musa Abdul-Aleem, with 2.6 treys per game, while shooting 38.1 percent from long range, the eighth best in the Sun Belt.

Since joining the Sun Belt in 2005, Troy has now had eight athletes earn all-conference honors. Person is the first freshman to earn any award, and the first Trojan to be selected a member of an all-conference team since Will Weather’s was named to the All-Sun Belt third team in 2010-11.