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February 27, 2007

ISU gets two players on MVC All-Freshman team

St. LOUIS — Indiana State freshmen Marico Stinson and Cole Holmstrom has been selected to the Missouri Valley Conference All-Freshman team for the 2006--07 season the league announced Tuesday.

After helping the Salukis to their highest ever national ranking, a regular-season Missouri Valley Conference title and the No. 1 seed in this week's State Farm MVC Tournament, senior Jamaal Tatum (Jefferson City (Mo.) Helias High) has been named the 2007 Larry Bird MVC Player of the Year, in what is believed to be the closest vote in the history of the Missouri Valley Conference.

A total of five points separated the top three vote getters, including Tatum (70 points), Creighton's Nate Funk (67 points) and SIU's Randal Falker (65 points). Missouri State's Blake Ahearn and Creighton's Anthony Tolliver also were among the top five in the Player of the Year balloting. Those five comprise the league's first-team unit. (the PDF release at the bottom of this release has the voting breakdown)



LARRY BIRD MVC PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Jamaal Tatum, Southern Illinois

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR - Spencer Laurie, Missouri State

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR - Osiris Eldridge, Illinois State

DEFENSIVE MVP - Randal Falker, Southern Illinois

SIXTH-MAN OF THE YEAR - Deven Mitchell, Missouri State

PRAIRIE FARMS SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR - TBA (Feb. 28)

MOST IMPROVED TEAM CAPTAIN - TBA (Feb. 28)

‘RAWLINGS’ MVC COACH OF THE YEAR - TBA (March 1)



Tatum is the top scorer for the Salukis, who are ranked No. 11 in this week's Associated Press top-25 poll and No. 11 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches rankings. The senior guard averages 14.5 points per game and enters this week's action with 1,557 career points, which ranks No. 7 all-time in SIU history.

Tatum has helped the Salukis to a 25-5 overall mark and 15-3 conference record as SIU earned the tournament's top seed for the fifth time in the past six years. SIU enters the tournament with a league season-high 11-game winning streak.

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