|UT Martin’s Hudson, Weddle on All-OVC preseason squad |
|Posted: Thursday, October 9, 2008 2:26 pm |
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Reigning OVC Player of the Year Lester Hudson and reigning OVC Freshman of the Year Marquis Weddle were both named to the 10-member Preseason All-OVC team. Only UT Martin, Morehead State and Tennessee State placed two members on the team, and Hudson and Weddle were two of the three total guards on the team.
Hudson, who was also named 2008-09 Preseason Player of the Year, arguably had the greatest single season in the history of the UT Martin basketball program in 2007-08. The 6-2, 190-pound Memphis native finished his first NCAA season ranked in the Top 10 nationally in points per game (25.7 for fourth), steals (2.8 for fourth), and 3-pointers made per game (3.8 for 10th). Hudson also became the first Division I men’s basketball player to record a quadruple-double in a game when he put up a line of 25 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals in UT Martin’s 116-74 win over Central Baptist on Nov. 13.
Hudson also had a triple-double, eight additional double-doubles and cracked the 30-point plateau 12 times during his rookie season in the league. His 124 3-point field goals was an OVC record, topping the previous mark of 120 by Samford’s J. Robert Merritt in 2005-06.
Hudson capped off his spectacular season by being named OVC Player of the Year, All-OVC First Team and All-OVC Newcomer. Hudson was named to the CollegeInsider.com All-American team, and was named Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American and a second team All-American by CollegeHoops.net. He is the first ever UTM basketball player to earn All-American status, as well as the first Skyhawk to win OVC Player of the Year honors.
Last May, Hudson was named OVC Male Athlete of the Year and entered the NBA Draft but withdrew to return for his senior campaign. Hudson returns having led the OVC last season in four categories and being in the top 10 for eight categories. Hudson enters his senior year with the most points in a single season at UTM with 847 (the previous record holder was Mike Meschede with 664 in 1987-88), and just 153 shy of being the school’s 11th member of the 1,000-point club.
While Hudson was deservedly stealing all of the national attention, Weddle made his own noise by producing some of the best numbers of any NCAA freshman. For the season, Weddle averaged 17.1 points per contest, good enough for seventh best out of all freshmen in NCAA Division I. Shooting 41 percent from the floor and 34 percent from 3-point range, the 6-1, 185-pound guard from Union City netted 565 points, which ranks sixth in UT Martin history for most points in a season.
Perhaps the most memorable moment of Weddle’s outstanding freshman season was the OVC Tournament quarterfinal triple overtime victory over Samford. Weddle put on a show for the 3,245 fans in attendance, playing all 55 minutes and torching the Bulldogs for 39 points on 14-of-28 shooting from the field. However, the most remarkable stat was Weddle’s long distance accuracy, as he hit an OVC Tournament record nine 3-pointers in 21 attempts. Weddle bested the OVC Tournament record of eight 3-point shots made that was held by three players, done in 1991, 2004 and 2006.
For the season, Weddle scored in double figures in 24 of 33 games, hit the 30-point plateau on three occasions and ranked third in the OVC in scoring (17.1 points/game). Weddle also ranked second in the conference in 3-point field goals made (99 total and 3.0 per game), and fifth in minutes played (34.85 per game).
Weddle’s season was recognized by the conference when he was named OVC Freshman of the Year by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. Weddle joined Okechi Egbe (1999-2000 season) as the only UT Martin OVC Freshmen of the Year.
The national media also noticed Weddle’s outstanding season, as Weddle was named to the 2008 CollegeInsider.com Freshman Mid-Major All-America Team.