With the non-conference season winding down, and Horizon League play set to start up again Thursday with a full slate of games, I wanted to put out my all-conference teams through the first half of the season. The two five-man teams are completely based on non-conference play (and the earlier conference games) and use a combination of tempo-free statistics, regular statistics and general observations. The "Honorable Mention" list at the end is more an "Others Considered" list and generally highlights players that did well during non-conference play and didn't make the cut for either team.
All the action is after the jump.
All-Horizon League Non-Conference 1st Team:
G/F Vytas Sulskis, Youngstown State
F Eli Holman, Detroit
C Matt Howard, Butler
G Shelvin Mack, Butler
G Norris Cole, Cleveland State
All-Horizon League Non-Conference 2nd Team:
F Paul Carter, UIC
F Cory Johnson, Valparaiso
G Vaughn Duggins, Wright State
G Rahmon Fletcher, Green Bay
G Ray McCallum, Detroit
Honorable Mentions (alphabetical): Ben Averkamp (F, Loyola), Ryan Broekhoff (F, Valparaiso), Trevon Harmon (G, Cleveland State), Anthony Hill (F, Milwaukee), Robo Kreps (G, UIC), Tony Meier (F, Milwaukee), Andrew Smith (C, Butler), Brandon Wood (G, Valparaiso)
Notes: The hardest decision in picking these teams was taking Shelvin Mack over Ray McCallum. McCallum has been very impressive as a freshman for Detroit, but lately Mack has really come on. Along with Matt Howard, Mack was the driving force behind Butler's successful Christmas weekend at the Diamond Head Classic. Mack scored 20 points in the championship victory over Washington State and 17 against Florida State.
Putting Vytas Sulskis on the first team might seem like a stretch considering Youngstown State's 5-6 record, but he's averaging 17 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per game. He's one of just two Penguins players averaging in double-figures and is shooting 55.6 percent this season.
It was tough to pick the guy off of Valparaiso that was going to make the second team because of how many of the Crusaders are having solid seasons. Eventually I settled on Cory Johnson because he does it in fewer minutes and is very efficient, but Brandon Wood is a heck of a player. There's also a lot more room for front court players on this team, because the league is guard heavy in general.
If I had to pick someone I'd pick Matt Howard as the non-conference player of the year. He has a slight edge over Norris Cole. Looking forward to an excellent season.