SEMO forward Stone named OVC Preseason Player of the Year - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

SEMO forward Stone named OVC Preseason Player of the Year

Tyler Stone (Source: Southeast Missouri State University) Tyler Stone (Source: Southeast Missouri State University)

Southeast Missouri State University basketball forward Tyler Stone was named the Ohio Valley Conference Preseason Player of the Year.

SEMO was also picked to win the OVC West Division Tuesday during the league's annual media day at the Sheraton Music City Hotel in Nashville, Tenn.

Stone is from Memphis, Tenn., He enters his final season just 32 points from reaching 1,000 in his Southeast career. He earned Second-Team All-OVC honors each of the last two years and is one of four returning starters.

Stone was the Redhawks leading scorer with 15.5 points per game in 33 contests and 29 starts in 2012-13. He ranked second on the team in field goal percentage (.492), rebounds (7.8 rpg), blocks (44) and steals (25), and averaged a team-high 32.2 minutes per game. Stone was eighth in the OVC in scoring, fifth in rebounding and fifth in blocks, according to Southeast Missouri State University.

Nino Johnson was also a Preseason All-OVC honoree.

Johnson, also from Memphis, Tenn., ranked 22nd in the nation with a Southeast single-season record 84 blocks a year ago. He was the Redhawks top rebounder (8.8 rpg), shot-blocker and third-leading scorer (11.1 ppg). Johnson led the team in field goal percentage (.556), as well. He is on pace to break Southeast's all-time career record in blocks, needing 65 to surpass William "Bud" Eley (156 from 1995-99) for the new mark.

Stone and Johnson turned in a combined 51 double-digit scoring performances, 16 double-doubles and ten 20-point games last season.

Southeast head coach Dickey Nutt called the players "forces to reckon with" saying both play with high energy and want to win.

Southeast and Murray State were tabbed co-favorites in the West Division. The Redhawks received 13 first-place votes while the Racers (defending West Champions) picked up the remaining 11. Both finished with 117 total points.

Austin Peay (90 points), UT Martin (66 points), Eastern Illinois (58 points) and SIU Edwardsville (44 points) rounded out the West.

Eastern Kentucky earned 18 of a possible 24 first-place nods and a total of 128 points to lead all vote-getting.

The Colonels were followed in the East Division by defending OVC Champion Belmont (6 first-place votes, 116 points), Morehead State (74 points), Jacksonville State (72 points), Tennessee State (60 points) and Tennessee Tech (42 points).

Southeast hosts Hannibal-LaGrange (Oct. 29) and Ouachita Baptist (Nov. 2) in exhibition action before tipping off its 2013-14 season at Saint Louis on Nov. 8.

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