2014 Ohio Valley Conference Awards

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Ohio Valley Conference announced their official awards Tuesday. Based on the results, the league should be very wary of Murray State for years to come.

The Ohio Valley conference announced its official awards Tuesday, and there was little surprise at the top of the list.

Taking home the Player of the Year honors was Belmont's J.J. Mann, who had the best shooting season of his career. The senior averaged 18.4 points per game on 47 percent shooting overall, which included a nice 39.5 percent clip from behind the arc. He added in 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game to pad out his hefty stat line.

Belmont coach Rick Byrd was also honored as the coach of the year, after leading the Bruins to a 24-8 record overall and 14-2 in the Ohio Valley Conference. Belmont will be the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament which opens Wednesday.

Freshman of the year went to Murray State's Cameron Payne who also landed himself a spot on the 1st team All-Conference squad. Payne averaged 15.9 points and 5.6 assists per game while turning in a 1.75 assist-to-turnover ratio. He was joined on the All-Newcomer team by transfer Jarvis Williams. Based on the Murray State season -- 13-3 in conference despite losing Isaiah Canaan and its likely starting point guard coming into the year -- the Racers are going to be dangerous moving forward for a good, long time.

Defensive honors went to Eastern Kentucky's Corey Walden who had 4.2 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game. His steal rate (how often he steals the ball when on defense) was 3.7 percent, good enough for 57th in the country

Here is the complete list of honorees:

2013-14 All-OVC Teams and Award Winners
Player of the Year:
J.J. Mann, Belmont
Freshman of the Year: Cameron Payne, Murray State
Defensive Player of the Year: Corey Walden, Eastern Kentucky
Coach of the Year: Rick Byrd, Belmont

First Team All-OVC
J.J. Mann, Belmont
Glenn Cosey, Eastern Kentucky
Tyler Stone, Southeast Missouri
Cameron Payne, Murray State
Patrick Miller, Tennessee State

Second Team All-OVC
Jarekious Bradley, Southeast Missouri
Craig Bradshaw, Belmont
Jarvis Williams, Murray State
Angelo Warner, Morehead State
Sherman Blanford, Eastern Illinois

OVC All-Newcomer Team
Cameron Payne, Murray State
Jarekious Bradley, Southeast Missouri
Jarvis Williams, Murray State
Donivine Stewart, SIUE
Reggie Smith, Eastern Illinois

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