Tribune-Star staff report
TERRE HAUTE —
Indiana State sophomore Khristian Smith has been named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s All-Bench and Most Improved Teams, according to an announcement by the league office Wednesday.
The teams were selected by the conference’s newspaper beat writers and are comprised of the top five student-athletes, plus ties, on each squad.
Smith, who earlier was named MVC Sixth Man Of The Year, took home All-Bench honors for the second consecutive season. He played in all 30 regular season games, with just five starts and averaged 11.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. He scored a career-high 28 points on the road against Belmont and has posted 16 double-digit scoring games, including a MVC-high 27 points in a road victory over Evansville. He ranks in the Top 10 in the Valley for overall field goal shooting percentage.
He is joined on the All-Bench team by Northern Iowa’s Nate Buss, Wichita State’s Darius Carter, Southern Illinois’ Jalen Pendleton and Loyola’s Devon Turk.
Smith also was named to the MVC’s Most Improved Team. He is scoring exactly 6.0 (5.1 to 11.1) ppg more from last year to this year and has improved his field-goal percentage from 37.8 to 49.2 while making 19 more 3-pointers and improving his accuracy from long range from 24 to 34.1 percent.
His 4.3 rebounds per game is more than one rebound better than his 2.9 mark one year ago.
In addition to Smith, other honorees on the MVC Most Improved Team were Wichita State’s Fred VanVleet, Evansville’s D.J. Balentine, Southern Illinois’ Anthony Beane, UNI’s Matt Bohannon and Nate Buss and Drake’s Aaron Hawley.
Indiana State holds the No. 2 seed at the MVC tournament and will begin Friday when it takes on either No. 7 Bradley or No. 10 Loyola at 7:05 p.m. EST. The quarterfinal game is set to be televised on MVC-TV as well as ESPN3.