The Citadel's Najdawi Named All-SoCon First-Team Selection

CHARLESTON, SC - Junior forward Zane Najdawi has been named to the All-Southern Conference First Team by both the league's coaches and the SoCon Sports Media Association, it was announced Wednesday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, Najdawi was named to the HoopsHD.com All-Southern Conference Team for the second straight year while fellow junior Matt Frierson was tabbed the HoopsHD.com 6th Man of the Year for the league.

Najdawi is just the fourth player in program history and the first Bulldog since Ashton Moore to earn first-team honors from both the coaches and the media. He is also only the fourth player in program history to be named a first-team selection by the media and is only the 11th player in program history to garner all-conference honors from the league's coaches.

In the regular-season finale at Western Carolina on Sunday, Feb. 25, Najdawi became just the 27th player in SoCon history and second in program history to eclipse 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks for his career. Najdawi scored his 1,000th-career point in the home win over Wofford on February 1 and brought down his 500th rebound in the game regular-season finale at Western Carolina.

Najdawi, who was named the SoCon Player of the Week twice this season by the league office as well as once by College Sports Madness, finished conference play in the top two of the league in five different statistical categories. He led the league with a 56.1% shooting percentage from the field in league games and was second in scoring, 3-point field goal percentage, total blocks and blocks per game. Najdawi averaged 19.5 points and 2.1 blocks per league game, finished the year with 37 blocks in conference action and shot 47.9% from beyond the arc. Najdawi was also ninth in the SoCon with 6.2 rebounds per conference game.

In conference play, Najdawi led the Bulldogs in scoring 11 times, recorded three double-doubles and scored 20 or more points eight times, including two 30-point performances. He also had 10 games with multiple blocks, including a career-high six in the SoCon opener at home against Western Carolina on Saturday, Dec. 30.

In the Bulldogs' home win over Chattanooga on Saturday, Jan. 13, Najdawi recorded his first career 30-point game with 37 points while shooting 88.2% (15-of-17) from the field. That game started a three-game stretch for Najdawi where he averaged 29.7 points per game and shot 72% (36-of-50) from the field.

Last season, Najdawi was named to the HoopsHD.com All-Conference Team and earned his first-ever SoCon Player of the Week honor on November 15. He was named to the SCSMA All-Freshman Team following the 2015-16 campaign.

Frierson has started the last 14 games for the Bulldogs after being one of the first players off the bench to begin the season. The Bulldogs' second-leading scorer, Frierson ended the year fifth in the SoCon for scoring, averaging 15.5 points per league game. He was also second this season with 3.9 3-pointers made per game and 71 total treys converted.

Frierson has converted at least four 3-pointers in 14 games this season, including four in a row from January 6 to January 18. On Saturday, Jan. 13, Frierson set a career-high with nine made treys as he netted a career-high 31 points.

Last week in the home finale against Mercer on Friday, Feb. 23, Frierson set the program record for treys made in a season. He enters the SoCon Tournament with 107 total 3-pointers on the year. He is currently sixth all-time for treys made in a career with 213.

The Bulldogs will be the No. 8 seed in the upcoming Southern Conference Men's Basketball Championship held at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, North Carolina. The Citadel will face the No. 9 seed, VMI in the tournament's first game at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 2.

For more information on The Citadel basketball team, follow @CitadelHoops and @CitadelSports or visit CitadelSports.com.


COACHES
Player of the Year
Desonta Bradford, Sr., G, ETSU

Freshman of the Year
Bo Hodges, G, ETSU

Defensive Player of the Year
James Dickey, So., F, UNCG

Coach of the Year
Wes Miller, UNCG

First Team
Zane Najdawi, The Citadel
Desonta Bradford, ETSU
Devin Sibley, Furman
Francis Alonso, UNCG
Fletcher Magee, Wofford

Second Team
Jalan McCloud, ETSU
James Dickey, UNCG
Justin Coleman, Samford
Mike Amius, Western Carolina
Cameron Jackson, Wofford

Third Team
Daniel Fowler, Furman
Matt Rafferty, Furman
Jordan Strawberry, Mercer
Marvin Smith, UNCG
Demetrius Denzel-Dyson, Samford

All-Freshman Team
Mladen Armus, ETSU
Bo Hodges, ETSU
Isaiah Miller, UNCG
Bubba Parham, VMI
Storm Murphy, Wofford


SOCON SPORTS MEDIA ASSOCIATION (SCSMA)
Malcolm U. Pitt Player of the Year
Fletcher Magee, Jr., G, Wofford

Freshman of the Year
Bubba Parham, G, VMI

Anton Foy Coach of the Year
Wes Miller, UNCG

First Team
Zane Najdawi, The Citadel
Desonta Bradford, ETSU
Devin Sibley, Furman
Francis Alonso, UNCG
Fletcher Magee, Wofford

Second Team
Stephon Jelks, Mercer
Jordan Strawberry, Mercer
James Dickey, UNCG
Marvin Smith, UNCG
Demetrius Denzel-Dyson, Samford
Cameron Jackson, Wofford

Third Team
Jalan McCloud, ETSU
Daniel Fowler, Furman
Matt Rafferty, Furman
Justin Coleman, Samford
Mike Amius, Western Carolina

All-Freshman Team
Bo Hodges, ETSU
Isaiah Miller, UNCG
Bubba Parham, VMI
Matt Halvorsen, Western Carolina
Storm Murphy, Wofford


HOOPSHD.COM SOUTHERN CONFERENCE AWARDS
Player of the Year
Desonta Bradford, ETSU

Rookie of the Year
Bubba Parham, VMI

Defensive Player of the Year
Cameron Jackson, Wofford

6TH MAN OF THE YEAR
Matt Frierson, The Citadel

COACH OF THE YEAR
Mike Young, Wofford

All-Conference
Desonta Bradford, ETSU
Fletcher Magee, Wofford
Francis Alonso, UNCG
Makinde London, Chattanooga
Zane Najdawi The Citadel