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Men's Basketball's Rowe, Shulman Conference Player, Coach of Year
Feb. 27, 2014 - For the second straight year an Eastern Florida men's basketball player has been named Florida College System Activities Association Southern Conference Player of the Year.
This season's award goes to sophomore guard Torrance Rowe. Forward Addison Spruill — now playing for NCAA Division I University of North Carolina Wilmington — won the award as a sophomore for the 2012-2013 season.
And for the second straight season Eastern Florida head coach Jeremy Shulman has been named Conference Coach of the Year for guiding the Titans to their second straight conference championship, a feat not realized at Eastern Florida for 34 years.
Rowe's and Shulman's honors highlight the selection of seven Titans men to the conference's first- and second-team honor rolls. Joining Rowe on the first team are sophomore forward Mike Kirkland and freshman guard/forward Demetrius McReynolds. Named to the second team were freshman guard Jermohn Queen, freshman forward Landus Anderson, sophomore guard Ben Patrick and sophomore forward Jure Gunjina.
The first and second teams consist of 12 players each selected by conference coaches.
"I cannot tell you how excited I am for Torrance Rowe to be named Southern Conference Player of the Year," Shulman said. "Torrance has fought through so much adversity over the last year and a half, and for all of his hard work to culminate in this prestigious award- well, I could not be happier.
"Mike has had such an unbelievable year for us. And after being left off the All-Conference teams last year, it is sweet vindication for him to be a first-team All-Conference performer as a sophomore.
"There are not enough good things I can say about Demetrius McReynolds. He has been a tireless worker and a coach's dream since the day he got on campus. It's a very special honor for him to be a first-team All-Conference selection as just a freshman."
As for the second-team selections:
"There is not another player on the team who has improved so much from first to second semester as Jermohn Queen," Shulman said. "I am so proud of his progression, and his willingness to do whatever it takes to win games. It is such a great honor for him to be named an All-Conference selection.
"No player in the Conference has had more of a rollercoaster of emotions in the last month as Jure has, after going down with the injury against Palm Beach, only to come back ahead of schedule and hit the two game-clinching free throws in the finale against Broward. Though missing half of the conference games, Jure was well recognized in his second consecutive All-Conference selection, highlighted by his 24-point, seven-rebound game against rival Indian River State.
"There is not a more underrated player in the conference than Ben Patrick. All he does is win. But this is fantastic news to see Ben receive some notice with his All-Conference selection. There is not a harder worker anywhere in the country than Ben.
"I wish everyone could have seen the look on Landus' face when he was told the news of being selected to the All-Conference team. It is one of the things I got into coaching for in the first place. Landus has been an unbelievable competitor all year long for us, and has been outstanding all over the floor in conference. What an unbelievable young man, and so well deserving of this honor."
Rowe leads Eastern Florida in scoring, averaging 14.2 points per game. McReynolds is second at 12.4 despite coming off the bench in 24 of the 29 games in which he played. Gunjina is third at 10.8 and Kirkland fifth at 10.0.
Kirkland, who along with Queen were the only two players to appear in all 30 regular-season games, leads in rebounding at 7.2 per game. Patrick leads in assists at 5.5 per game and is nationally ranked in assists and assist to turnover ratio (3.4).
Shulman led Eastern Florida to its second straight 24-6 regular-season record and its second straight 10-2 finish in conference. Also, Eastern Florida extended its home court winning streak to 31 games dating back to the 2011-2012 season.
The Titans will make their second straight NJCAA Division I Region 8/FCSAA postseason tournament appearance — and their third in Shulman's four seasons — next week in Ocala playing Polk State College in the first round at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Eastern Florida Athletic Director Jeff Carr was pleased with the selections.
"What a testament to Jeremy and his coaching staff on winning back-to-back conference championships," Carr said. "Jeremy is so deserving of being conference Coach of the Year. What he has done in a short period of time here is amazing. He has put our basketball program back on the map.
"I also am thrilled that Torrance is conference Player of the Year," Carr added. "He has worked so hard this year and deserves all the recognition he has received. I also am ecstatic for our other young men who are all-conference. What a testament to the great season they have had. Hopefully more is to come at the state tournament."