BRENTWOOD, Tenn. --- Tennessee State men’s basketball redshirt seniors Tahjere McCall (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Wayne Martin (Brooklyn, N.Y.) earned spots on the Preseason All-Ohio Valley Conference Team, while TSU was picked second in the East Division in the OVC Predicted Order of Finish, it was announced today by the league office. The awards and poll were voted on by OVC head coaches and sports information directors.
McCall, who is the reigning OVC Defensive Player of the Year, finished second on the team with 14.6 points per game last season while setting the program record for single season steals with 72. The Philadelphia, Pa. native led TSU in assists 15 times last season and was the team’s top scorer on 12 occasions.
Martin was TSU’s third-leading scorer with 11.1 points per game a year ago. The 6’7 forward from Brooklyn, N.Y. posted a team-high 9.1 rebounds per game, which was good for third among OVC players in 2015-16. Martin recorded 10 double-doubles last season and twice won OVC Newcomer of the Week accolades.
TSU and Belmont were the only teams with two players on the Preseason All-OVC Team. It is the first time TSU has had two Preseason All-OVC selections since Robert Covington and Patrick Miller earned the honors prior to the 2012-13 season.
For TSU, the second-place finish in the East is tied for the best slot the Tigers have been chosen since the league moved to the two-division format prior to the 2012-13 season. TSU was also selected second in the 2012-13 preseason poll. Tennessee State received six first-place votes for the East Division and six votes for the preseason overall champion.
Last year’s OVC regular season champion Belmont was picked first in the East and was chosen by head coaches and SIDs as the preseason overall champion. In the West Division, Murray State was selected first.
Belmont’s Evan Bradds, who earned OVC Player of the Year in 2015-16, was chosen as the 2016-17 Preseason OVC Player of the Year.
2016-17 OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
1. Belmont (16 first-place votes) 126
2. Tennessee State (6) 106
3. Morehead State (1) 98
4. Tennessee Tech 62
5. Eastern Kentucky (1) 60
6. Jacksonville State 40
1. Murray State (21 first-place votes) 131
2. Eastern Illinois 95
3. Austin Peay (2) 88
4. UT Martin (1) 82
5. SIUE 54
6. Southeast Missouri 42
2016-17 PREDICTED OVERALL OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE CHAMPION
Belmont (16 first-place votes)
Other Teams Receiving Overall First-Place Votes: Tennessee State (6), Eastern Kentucky (1), Morehead State (1)
2016-17 PRESEASON ALL-OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE TEAM
Taylor Barnette, Belmont
Evan Bradds, Belmont
Antonius Cleveland, Southeast Missouri
Cornell Johnston, Eastern Illinois
Bryce Jones, Murray State
Aleksa Jugovic, Tennessee Tech
Wayne Martin, Tennessee State
Nick Mayo, Eastern Kentucky
Tahjere McCall, Tennessee State
Xavier Moon, Morehead State
Josh Robinson, Austin Peay
2016-17 PRESEASON OVC PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Evan Bradds, Belmont