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Monday, March 7

Plank named Prairie Farms Student-Athlete of the Year

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[MARCH 7, 2005]  ST. LOUIS -- Junior Neil Plank, a native of Mount Zion, Ill., was awarded the Prairie Farms Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor at the Coach of the Year/Hall of Fame Luncheon in the Marriott Hotel Friday afternoon.

Plank, who carries a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade-point average in finance, is the fourth honoree for the award, which was given to Creighton's Michael Lindeman last season and Southern Illinois' Kent Williams in 2002 and 2003.

Earlier in the week Plank was named to the 2005 ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America University Division Men's Basketball Team and the all-conference academic team.

Plank was a second-team MVC Scholar-Athlete selection in 2003-04.

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As of Friday, he averaged 7.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. He had played in 27 games, all as a reserve. He ranked third on the team in rebounding with 108 boards and was tied for fourth in scoring.

[Todd Kober, assistant athletics director, media relations,
Illinois State University]

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