CLEVELAND -- Two first-team all-Mid-American Conference selections from the 1999-00 season highlight the mens basketball preseason all-MAC team, announced today by the league office. Voting for the team was conducted by members of the MAC News Media Association.
The five members of the team are: Greg Stempin, Toledo (6-8, 220, Sr., forward); Tamar Slay, Marshall (6-9, 205, Jr., guard); J.R. VanHoose, Marshall (6-10, 245, Jr., forward/center); Theron Smith, Ball State (6-8, 215, So., forward); David Webber, Central Michigan (6-2, 210, Jr., guard).
Stempin and Slay were first team all-MAC selections last year and Stempin was also a first team selection in 1999. Smith was the leagues Freshman of the Year, while VanHoose and Webber were honorable mention all-MAC selections.
Stempin, a native of Macomb, Mich., (Harper Woods-Notre Dame) averaged 15.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, both team highs, while leading the Rockets to an overall record of 18-13 and a MAC West record of 11-7. The Rockets won their last 10 games of the season to tie Ball State for the West Division championship.
Slay was the leagues scoring leader with a 19.9 average and also paced the MAC in three-point field goals per game with a 3.1 average (93 in 30 games). Slay scored a season-high of 38 points versus Western Michigan and 35 against Big East foe West Virginia. The Thundering Herd won 21 games and advanced to the MAC quarter-finals for the first time in school history.
VanHoose averaged 17.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game and finished second in the MAC in field goal percentage at 56.7% (183-of-323). His rebounds also ranked second in the league and his scoring average sixth. VanHoose is the leagues top returning rebounder and field goal shooter and third leading returning point producer.
Smith was a vital component to Ball States MAC Tournament championship, averaging 12.2 points a game, second on the squad, and a team-high 7.6 rebounds per contest. In a five-game BSU winning streak in early February, Smith led the team in scoring three of the games and in rebounding twice. The Cardinals produced 22 wins and won 12 of 13 games going into the NCAA Tournament.
Webber came on strong late in the season and finished with a 19.2 scoring average , third in the MAC, and 3.9 rebounds a game. His 51 points versus Ball State on Feb. 24 established a Rose Arena record that was previously held by Larry Bird. Webber scored 45 points in two MAC Tournament games as the Chippewas, the No. 13 seed, won at No. 4 Akron and then nearly defeated No. 5 Marshall, losing 58-56.
The preseason all-MAC team will be available for interviews at the conferences Basketball Media Day, which is slated for Thursday, Oct. 19 at Gund Arena in Cleveland. The media portion of the schedule is set to begin at 9:00 a.m.