Pacers Nelson, Alexander headline PBC Men's honors

By: Staff Reporter
By: Staff Reporter

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The two-time defending Peach Belt Conference regular-season champion University of South Carolina Aiken men’s basketball team once again racked up when the All-Conference awards were unveiled on Tuesday, March 5, 2013.

USC Aiken senior point guard Re’mon Nelson was chosen as the Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year, while head men’s basketball coach Vince Alexander was named the league’s Co-Coach of the Year.

Three Pacers garnered plaudits from the league in total with Nelson leading the way by being tabbed First-Team All-PBC. Paul Larsen was a Second-Team selection, while Ronald Zimmerman was named to the Third-Team.

Alexander has now claimed league Coach of the Year accolades in back-to-back and three of the last six seasons (2007-08, 2011-12 and 2012-13).

Nelson is USC Aiken’s first Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year since Chris Commons claimed the award in both the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons.

Alexander has turned the Pacer men’s basketball program into a national power over the course of the last six seasons.

Alexander became the all-time wins leader for the USC Aiken men’s basketball program in the Pacers’ 108-79 road win over Francis Marion on Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. Alexander is now 233-166 all-time in 14 seasons as a head coach. The eighth-year head coach is 144-92 as the head coach of the Pacer men’s basketball team.

Alexander has guided USC Aiken to historic heights during his time in charge. In 2007-08, USC Aiken reached the national rankings for the first time ever before ending the year by winning the Peach Belt Conference regular-season crown. The Pacers, who won a school-record 27 games in the 2007-08 season, were the top seed in the NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional during the 2007-08 campaign. Alexander was chosen as the 2007-08 South Atlantic Region Coach of the Year in addition to claiming conference Coach of the Year plaudits.

Alexander guided the 2008-09 Peach Belt Conference men’s basketball team farther than any other squad in program history, as the Pacers reached the NCAA Division II “Sweet Sixteen.” One year later in the 2009-10 season, USC Aiken claimed the Peach Belt Conference Tournament Championship.

Under the guidance of Alexander, the Pacers enter the 2013 Peach Belt Conference Tournament having won back-to-back Peach Belt Conference regular-season championships (2011-12 and 2012-13) for the first time in program history.

USC Aiken needs just one more win to claim its fifth 20 or more win season in the last six years.

Nelson (Columbus, Ohio/Canal Winchester HS) is currently fifth nationally and third in the Peach Belt Conference in assists per game (6.5). He is also fifth in the Peach Belt Conference in steals per game (1.8).

A 2011-12 All-Peach Belt Conference and All-Peach Belt Conference Tournament selection, Nelson was a 2012-13 preseason All-Conference selection.

Nelson is currently averaging 13.1 points, 6.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 32.3 minutes per game. He is shooting 46.1 percent from the field and 45.6 percent (second-best PBC) from beyond the arc.

Nelson is presently shooting 79.3 percent from the free throw line.

Nelson has 17 games this season where he has dished out six or more assists. He has scored in double figures 18 times.

Nelson has scored over 20 points four times this season. Nelson has collected three double-doubles (points/assists) this season.

Nelson is USC Aiken’s all-time leader in assists (484) and steals (188). He is one of only 10 in USC Aiken’s NCAA Division II history to score over 1,000 points. He currently has 1,132 points in his career.

Larsen (Mooresville, N.C./Mercer) is currently fourth in the Peach Belt Conference in rebounds per game (8.9). He is second in the league in contests featuring two PBC teams with 9.6 boards per game.

The 8.9 rebounds per game places him in the top-35 nationally in the category. Larsen is bringing down a league second-best 6.7 defensive rebounds per game. He has collected a league third-best 2.9 offensive caroms per contest.

Larsen is also fifth in the league in field goal percentage (59.5 percent).

The junior forward is averaging 13.7 points and 8.9 rebounds per game in total. He has claimed a team-best nine double-doubles this season.

Larsen has scored in double figures 18 times this season. He has scored 20 or more points in eight games.

Zimmerman is currently the national leader in 3-pointers made per game (3.9). He is also fifth in the Peach Belt Conference and in the top-25 nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (42.4 percent).

Zimmerman (Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley HS) is leading the Pacers and is in the top-15 in the league in scoring at 15.1 points per game.

The junior guard in total is shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 73.7 percent from the free throw line. He is averaging 2.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game to go along with his 15.1 points per contest.

Zimmerman has scored in double figures 18 times this season. He has posted eight 20 or more point games. Zimmerman scored a career-best 34 points in USC Aiken’s home win over Mount Olive on Dec. 6.

Zimmerman has already secured the single-season record in school history for 3-pointers made in a season. He has nailed 101 treys in the 2012-13 season.

The Peach Belt Conference regular-season champion and East Division top-seeded USC Aiken men's basketball team will open the 2013 Peach Belt Conference Men's Basketball Tournament by facing off against West Division fourth-seeded Clayton State at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 8.

The 2013 Peach Belt Conference Men's Basketball Tournament is being held for the second consecutive year at the Frank G. Lumpkin Center on the campus of Columbus State.

USC Aiken (19-7, 15-4 PBC) and Clayton State (13-13, 9-10) are meeting in the Peach Belt Conference Tournament quarterfinals at the Lumpkin Center for the second straight year. Last year, then East No. 1 USC Aiken advanced to the 2012 Peach Belt Conference Tournament semifinals with a 48-40 victory over West No. 4 Clayton State.

USC Aiken and Clayton State have met just once this season with the Pacers garnering a 66-55 victory over the Lakers at the Convocation Center on Wednesday, Jan. 16.

The two-time defending Peach Belt Conference regular-season champion Pacers commence the Peach Belt Conference Tournament having won 10 of their last 12 games.

The Pacers will be searching for their first Peach Belt Conference Tournament crown since downing Montevallo, 65-60, in the 2010 Peach Belt Conference Tournament championship game at the Convocation Center. USC Aiken has two league tournament titles in program history as they also won the 1993 Peach Belt Conference Tournament Championship with a 64-60 win over rival Augusta State.

The Pacers have made an appearance in three out of the last five Peach Belt Conference Tournament championship games.

The winner of the East No. 1 USC Aiken-West No. 4 Clayton State quarterfinal advances to the Peach Belt Conference semifinal round to face the winner of the West No. 2 North Georgia-East No. 3 Armstrong quarterfinal at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 9.

The 2013 Peach Belt Conference Men's Basketball Tournament championship game will be contested at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 10.


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