March 3, 2011

Johnson Named Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year

Lions' Freshman Made a Big Impact in 2010-11

SAINT LEO, Fla. – Despite a less-than-stellar season, the Saint Leo men's basketball team still had another bright spot when the Lions learned that freshman Nate Johnson has been named the Sunshine State Conference's Freshman of the Year it was announced by SSC Commissioner Jay Jones on Thursday afternoon.

In addition to Johnson, fourteen other student-athletes were named to the 2010-11 All-Sunshine State Conference Men's Basketball Team. Rollins' Nick Wolf was selected Player of the Year, while his coach, Tom Klusman, was tabbed Coach of the Year and Barry's Willie Whitfield was recognized as the Defensive Player of the Year.

In his debut season at Saint Leo, Johnson contributed 3.9 points and 1.8 rebounds per game. A native of Chicago, he made his way into the starting line-up on eight occasions. Johnson's best outing of the season came in the Lions' game against Nova Southeastern on February 5, as he tallied a season-best 11 points and five rebounds.

Working his way into the starting lineup for the first time in the Lions' primetime televised contest against Florida Tech on January 31, he started all but two games the remainder of the season.

Receiving All-Freshman recognition with Johnson were: Stefon Barfield (Tampa), Alex Bodney (Eckerd), Derrick Bolanos (Barry), and Trip McFall (Rollins).

Joining Wolf and Whitfield on the All-SSC first team were: Rashad Callaway (Tampa), Rion Rayfield (Florida Southern), and Justin Sedlak (Florida Tech).

Earning All-SSC second team recognition were: Anthony Griffis (Tampa), Alex Gynes (Nova Southeastern), Chris Hall (Lynn), Brandon Jenkins (Florida Southern), and Matt Robertson (Rollins).

Two players, John Harper (Eckerd) and Terry Jenkins (Florida Southern), also earned honorable mention.

Voting for the All-SSC team was conducted among the league's men's basketball coaches and sports information directors.

Click here for the entire Sunshine State Conference release.

2010-11 ALL-SUNSHINE STATE CONFERENCE MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM
FIRST TEAM
Rashad Callaway, Tampa, Senior
Rion Rayfield, Florida Southern, Senior
Justin Sedlak, Florida Tech, Senior
Willie Whitfield, Barry, Senior
Nick Wolf, Rollins, Senior

Player of the Year - Nick Wolf, Rollins
Defensive Player of the Year - Willie Whitfield, Barry
Freshman of the Year - Nate Johnson, Saint Leo
Coach of the Year - Tom Klusman, Rollins

SECOND TEAM
Anthony Griffis, Tampa, Junior
Alex Gynes, Nova Southeastern, Senior
Chris Hall, Lynn, Senior
Brandon Jenkins, Florida Southern, Senior
Matt Robertson, Rollins, Senior

HONORABLE MENTION
John Harper, Eckerd, Senior
Terry Jenkins, Florida Southern, Senior

ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
Stefon Barfield, Tampa
Alex Bodney, Eckerd
Derrick Bolanos, Barry
Nate Johnson, Saint Leo
Trip McFall, Rollins