NewsMVNU to Honor Four Men's Basketball Seniors on Saturday
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - The Mount Vernon Nazarene University men's basketball team will honor its four seniors on Saturday evening prior to the Cougars' final regular-season game against Malone College that will tip off at 7:30 p.m.
Chip Wilson, Dan Weston, Matt Hilbert, and Andy Dunn have helped to lead MVNU to an 82-49 record over the past four years (.626 winning percentage) as the Cougars won one National Christian College Athletic Association national title and finished fifth in another NCCAA National Tournament. The team has also posted a 43-16 home record over the past four years (.729 winning percentage) including a 10-3 home mark this season, and MVNU has posted three straight 20-win campaigns.
Wilson, a 5-foot-10 guard from Marion, Ohio, has played in 93 career games and averaged 1.3 points per game for his career. This season, the former River Valley High School product has played in all 30 games with two starts and is averaging 1.9 points per game. He is also second on the team with 64 assists to go along with 26 steals, and he is shooting 52.4 percent from three-point range (11-for-21). Wilson, who is a Middle Childhood Education major, has also compiled a 3.404 grade point average and has been nominated for the NCCAA All-America Scholar-Athlete Team.
"I have the utmost respect for Chip," said MVNU head coach Scott Flemming. "I have seen him evolve as a player, as a person, and as a follower of Christ. I think all of our players would say that he is the ultimate teammate. Chip has steadily improved over his four years and has made a significant contribution on the court this year. He has made himself into a very good college point guard. He knows how to lead in game situations. It has been a privilege to be Chip's coach. He exemplifies everything we are looking for in a student-athlete to represent our university and our basketball program."
Weston, a 6-foot-4 forward from Morral, Ohio, has seen action in 100 career games and averages 2.2 points and 2.5 rebounds per game for his career. This year, the former Worthington Christian High School standout has played in all 30 games and is averaging a career-best 3.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. Weston, who is a Mathematics major, has compiled a 3.981 grade point average and has been nominated for the NAIA and NCCAA All-America Scholar-Athlete Teams after receiving both awards as a junior. He was also recently selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District IV Second Team.
"Dan is one of the hardest workers that I have ever coached," said Flemming. "He brings energy to our team whether he is in the game, at practice, or cheering on the bench. He is a true blue collar player. He has been called upon many times when we need a defensive presence or someone to get a big rebound. Dan has taken his role as a captain very seriously, and he has shown great leadership this year. In every area of his life, he always gives his all."
Hilbert, a 6-foot-7 center from Plain City, Ohio, has played in 121 career games and averaged 5.0 points and 4.9 rebounds per game as he has moved into ninth place on the school's career rebounding list with 591 boards. This season, the former Jonathan Alder High School standout is averaging a career-best 9.7 points per game and ranks 22nd in NAIA Division II by averaging 9.1 rebounds per contest. He also ranks eleventh among NAIA Division II players by averaging 7.0 defensive rebounds per game. In addition, Hilbert, a Business Administration major, is tied for the team lead with 33 steals to go with 50 assists and 15 blocked shots.
"We have had very few players in our program improve over four years as much as Matt has," said Flemming. "He has worked hard to improve and it has paid off. He has become a force on the boards as it has not been unusual for him to record a double-double in points and rebounds. Although he is a competitor on the court, I really appreciate his tender spirit off the court. Matt has done a great job in his captain's role this year and he has been a big part of our success."
Dunn, a 6-foot-1 guard from Hamilton, Ohio, has seen action in 97 career games since transferring to MVNU after playing his freshman season at Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) University. He has averaged 12.3 points and has moved into 20th place on the Cougars' career scoring list with 1,190 points and sixth place with 283 career treys. This season, the former Lakota West High School star leads the team and ranks 14th in NAIA Division II by averaging 20.7 points per game. He is also the leading three-point shooter in the country having nailed 126 treys, and he ranks fourth in NAIA Division II in free throw percentage at 92.3 percent (96-for-104). In addition to his achievements on the court, Dunn has compiled a 3.578 grade point average as a Business Administration major. He has been nominated for both the NAIA and NCCAA All-America Scholar-Athlete Teams after earning those honors as a junior, and he was recently named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District IV First Team.
"Many players only dream of the kind of season that Andy has had this year," said Flemming. "He is one of the top offensive players at the NAIA level. He has not only had big scoring nights, but he has done it consistently. Andy is always ready to play and he always plays with intensity. He has proven that you can be a leader on the team and on campus as well. I am proud of his accomplishments in the classroom and as a member of student government. We are all glad that God directed him to come to MVNU."
Saturday's game against Malone will not be the final home game for Wilson, Weston, Hilbert, and Dunn as the Cougars have also earned a home game in the first round of the eight-team AMC Tournament on Tuesday, February 24, with the opponent and game time yet to be determined.