R-MC's Anthony and Merkel Headline All-ODAC Men's Basketball Awards

R-MC's Anthony and Merkel Headline All-ODAC Men's Basketball Awards

FOREST, Va. --- Randolph-Macon College point guard Buzz Anthony and mentor Josh Merkel headline the 2019 All-ODAC Men's Basketball awards, as announced by the ODAC on Thursday afternoon. Anthony was selected as the Kurte Axe Memorial Player of the Year, while Merkel was tabbed the Bob Johnson Coach of the Year for a second straight season.

Washington and Lee University forward Curtis Mitchell is the first recipient of the ODAC Defensive Player of the Year award. Shenandoah University guard Jaylen Williams picked up ODAC Rookie of the Year laurels. R-MC forward Jon Nowell earned ODAC/Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete recognition from the league's sports information directors.

Nine players from last season's All-ODAC lists appear on the 2019 chart including a trio of All-ODAC First Team selections. Guilford College forward Marcus Curry and Roanoke College forward Josh Freund both repeat as first teamers, while Washington and Lee forward Roy McMillan makes the leap from the All-ODAC Third Team.

Generals' point guard Devin Kearns and University of Lynchburg forward Connor Schroeder both earned All-ODAC Second Team spots after picking up first team honors last year. Virginia Wesleyan University wing Lamont Steward is a second team for a second straight season. Bridgewater College guard Dimetri Chambers repeats on the third team, while Guilford forward Carson Long and Emory & Henry College forward Alic Wynn are third teamers after appearing on the 2018 second team.

RELATED: 2018 All-ODAC Awards | All-Time All-Conference

Anthony, a sophomore from Arnold, Md., is the engine that powers once the nation's most efficient offenses. Anthony is tops in the ODAC in assists (143) and assist-to-turnover ratio (3.0). He's 10th in the league in scoring (15.8) and total points (394). He's fourth in the league in free throw shooting (.848), fifth in three-point percentage (.457), seventh in field goal shooting (.546), and ninth in free throws made (78-92). Anthony has scored in double figures in 24-of-25 games played with a season-high 26 points vs. Carroll (Wis.) just before the New Year. Three times he has dished out 10 or more assists, each helping him to double-doubles. He registered a season-best 13 helpers vs. Washington and Lee in November.

Merkel is in his eighth season as a collegiate head coach and fourth year guiding the Yellow Jackets program. This is his second straight ODAC top coaching honor and third conference coach of the year award after earning the same distinction from the Capital Athletic Conference in 2015 when he led his alma mater, Salisbury University, to its first 20-win season since 1997. Randolph-Macon is currently the fifth-ranked team in the country by D3hoops.com and enters the ODAC Tournament as the #1 seed following a 15-1 run thru its ODAC slate and 23-2 overall record. Merkel owns a 137-74 (.649) overall record including a 71-33 (.683) mark at R-MC.

Mitchell, a sophomore from Chevy Chase, Md., is the first recipient of the newly created ODAC Defensive Player of the Year award. Mitchell is the ODAC leader in blocked shots with 75, which is 10 short of the ODAC single-season record entering the tournament. He pulls down 7.5 rebounds per game, which ranks seventh in the ODAC along with his 188 total defensive rebounds. Mitchell has sent back four or more shots in a game 11 times with two games of five blocks or more and a pair of six-block efforts.

Williams, a first-year from Woodbridge, Va., quickly became a primary option in Shenandoah's offense, having started 22 of 25 games played. Williams finished his season ranked 13.2 points per game, 17th-best in the league. He scored in double figures in 16 contests including the final five games of the season and seven of the last eight. He went over 20 points in four contest with a season-high 24 markers in the second to last game of the season against Virginia Wesleyan. Williams nearly registered a triple-double in just his third collegiate game with 16 points, nine boards, and seven assists at St. Mary's (Md.).

Nowell, a senior from Riverdale, Ga., shines both on an off the court for Randolph-Macon. In the classroom, the business major with a concentration in management maintains a 3.92 grade point average. The 2018 Academic All-District honoree is a perennial member of Randolph-Macon's Dean's List and a three-time honoree on the ODAC All-Academic Team. He earned a Phi Beta Kappa award as a sophomore and is a member of the Sigma Beta Delta business honor society. On the floor, Nowell is fourth in the ODAC in blocked shots (36) while averaging 5.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. He has started 24 of 25 games played.

Listed below is the complete set of 2019 All-ODAC Men's Basketball Teams. For more information, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com. Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter and Instagram.

Kurt Axe Memorial Player of the Year:
Buzz Anthony, So., G, Randolph-Macon
Defensive Player of the Year: Curtis Mitchell, So., F, Washington and Lee
Bob Johnson Coach of the Year: Josh Merkel, Randolph-Macon
ODAC Rookie of the Year: Jaylen Williams, Fy., G, Shenandoah
ODAC/Va. Farm Bureau Scholar-Athlete: Jon Nowell, Sr., F, Randolph-Macon

Buzz Anthony So. G Randolph-Macon College
Marcus Curry * Sr. F Guilford College
Josh Freund * Sr. F Roanoke College
Roy McMillan ^ Sr. F Washington and Lee University
Daniel Spencer Jr. G Emory & Henry College
Austin Wrighten Sr. G/F University of Lynchburg
Kyler Gregory Jr. F Guilford College
Devin Kearns * Sr. G Washington and Lee University
Grayson Midulla Sr. G Randolph-Macon College
Connor Schroeder * Sr. F University of Lynchburg
Lamont Steward # Jr. G/F Virginia Wesleyan University
Tharon Suggs So. G Emory & Henry College
Dimetri Chambers ^ So. G Bridgewater College
Tim Fisher So. F Virginia Wesleyan University
Sammy Hooper Sr. G Randolph College
Marcus Huff Sr. G Ferrum College
Carson Long # Sr. F Guilford College
Alic Wynn # Sr. F Emory & Henry College
* 2018 All-ODAC First Team
# 2018 All-ODAC Second Team
^ 2018 All-ODAC Third Team
+ 2018 ODAC Rookie of the Year