PBC Releases Men’s Basketball All-Conference Team

PBC Player of the Year Detrek Browning
PBC Player of the Year Detrek Browning

AUGUSTA, GA – With the tournament semifinals and finals approaching this weekend, the Peach Belt Conference has released the 2017-18 men's basketball All-Conference team.  Francis Marion's Detrek Browning was named the PBC Player of the Year while UNC Pembroke's Akia Pruitt is the Defensive Player of the Year and Georgia College's Jordan Thomas the Freshman of the Year.  Clayton State's Jimmy Link was also named the Herbert Greene Coach of the Year.

Browning is in the midst of a historic season and career that will cement his name in the record books.  A senior from Columbia, S.C., he is only 15 points shy of the PBC's all-time career scoring mark.  With his 24 points in the PBC quarterfinal on Wednesday, Browning sits at 2,318 for his career.  He leads the PBC and is ranked fourth in Division II with 25.0 points per game.  He was named the PBC Player of the Week a record seven times during the year and leads the league in made field goals, three-pointers and free throws.  He becomes the second Patriot to ever be named the PBC Player of the Year, joining Carlton Farr who won in 1995.  Browning is also the sixth player in league history to be named both the PBC Freshman of the Year and PBC Player of the Year in his career.

Akia Pruitt has emerged as a defensive force in the low post.  The sophomore forward from Winston-Salem, N.C., leads the PBC and is tied for fifth in NCAA Division II with 2.86 blocks per game.  His 81 total blocks this season is tied for sixth in the nation and is already the 10th-highest single-season total in league history.  Pruitt has played in all 28 games for the Braves and is averaging 12.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game with four double-doubles.  He tied a school record with eight blocks against Columbus State and has three or more blocks in 17 games this year.  He becomes the first Brave to be named the Defensive Player of the Year.

Jordan Thomas made an immediate impact in his first collegiate season at Georgia College. The freshman from Conyers, Ga., led the team and is 14th in the league with 13.7 ppg.  He played in all 28 games for the Bobcats with 26 starts and scored 20 or more points five times with a season-best 27 against USC Aiken.  His scoring average rose to 14.8 against conference opponents.  Thomas is the second Bobcat in the last three years to be named the Freshman of the Year after Isaac Thomas won the honor in 2016.

In three seasons at Clayton State, Jimmy Link has won two PBC regular-season titles and is the #1 seed in the PBC Tournament for a second straight time.  After starting the season 9-5, the Lakers found their gear and are on a 13-game winning streak which includes a win in the PBC Quarterfinals on Wednesday.  Ranked #3 in the latest NCAA Southeast Region poll, Clayton State leads the PBC in three-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage and are among the top three in scoring offense, scoring defense, total rebounds and rebound margin.  Link becomes the first Clayton State men's basketball coach to be named the PBC Coach of the Year.

The 2017-18 All-Conference team is listed below, as selected by the league's head coaches.  The first team was increased to six players due to a tie in the voting.  Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own players.

2017-18 PBC Men's Basketball
All-Conference Team

First Team
Detrek Browning, Francis Marion
Doniel Dean, USC Aiken
Tamyrik Fields, Augusta
Nigel Grant, UNC Pembroke
Nathan Powell, Clayton State
Jaylen Taylor, Clayton State

Second Team
Jacori Payne, Columbus State
Akia Pruitt, UNC Pembroke
R.J. Sessions, Georgia Southwestern
Brandon Watts, UNC Pembroke

Third Team
Shaquan Cantrell, North Georgia
Vaughn McCall, Flagler
Brandon Parker, Francis Marion
Rahu Purdie, Lander
Markus Terry, USC Aiken

PBC Elite 15 Award Presented by EAB
Vlad Cobzaru, Augusta

Mike & Amy Wood Foundation Scholarship
Vlad Cobzaru, Augusta

Player of the Year
Detrek Browning, Francis Marion

Defensive Player of the Year
Akia Pruitt, UNC Pembroke

Freshman of the Year
Jordan Thomas, Georgia College

Herbert Greene Coach of the Year
Jimmy Link, Clayton State