Eldridge Valley's top freshman; Dyer, Richardson, Slack all honored
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[February 28, 2007]
ST. LOUIS -- Illinois State's
Osiris Eldridge sports a letterman-style jacket around the ISU
campus showcasing his nickname, "King-O." Well, "the king" got the
first jewel in his collegiate crown on Tuesday, when Eldridge was
named the Missouri Valley Conference's Freshman of the Year by the
league coaches, media and sports information directors.
In addition to being named the league's top freshman, Eldridge was
also included on the Valley's All-Freshmen and All-Newcomer teams.
On the all-newcomer team, Eldridge was joined by Illinois State
Boo Richardson and
Anthony Slack, while ISU's leading scorer,
Levi Dyer, earned all-conference honorable mention honors.
his first collegiate regular season, Eldridge averaged 9.2 points
and 4.5 rebounds per game in 30 games for the Redbirds with 13
starts. His college career began with a 1-for-22 shooting drought,
but by the time he scored a career-high 28 points at Creighton he
began garnering recognition.
"Once I started working with Osiris and witnessed his willingness
to work, combined with his natural ability, I wasn't surprised to
see him awarded this honor," head coach Porter Moser said. "He's had
a great year for us and has made a major impact. He's made shots in
the clutch and he's scored his points with the game on the line.
Sometimes, freshmen get their points when the game's over, but that
hasn't been the case with Osiris."
Eldridge became the third player from Illinois State to receive
the freshman of the year award. He joined Victor Williams (1999) and
Dan Muller (1995).
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After sinking 3-point shots at nearly a 50 percent rate, it
wasn't surprising to see Dyer earn all-league honors. The Eaton,
Colo., native leads the Redbirds with 12.3 points per game,
including 15.4 points in league play, and is shooting 49.2 percent
"To be recognized as a top-15 player in this league is
tremendous," Moser said. "Levi has really come along, and it's great
to see a player who you recruited and developed really start to
break through. He had a phenomenal year. It shows you how strong the
Valley is when a player averages 15 points in league games and leads
the conference in 3-point shooting and isn't on one of the first two
Richardson and Slack have been teammates for three years,
transferring to Illinois State from Coffeyville Community College,
so it is fitting to have the tandem each make the league's
all-newcomer team with Eldridge. Richardson averaged 9.9 points and
5.1 assists per game for the year, while Slack averaged 9.5 points
and 5.7 rebounds per contest.
"It is credit to all those young men," Moser said. "During the
recruiting process our staff identified these guys as impact
players, and all five guys in this recruiting class have done that."
[Text from file received from Todd Kober,
assistant athletics director, media relations,