Mann chosen OVC player of year, Byrd coach of year

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BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (AP) - The Belmont Bruins just keep taking top awards in the Ohio Valley Conference with J.J. Mann voted the league’s player of the year and Rick Byrd taking coach of the year honors for a second straight season.

The OVC announced the awards Tuesday voted on by the league’s coaches and sports information directors.

This is only Belmont’s second season in the OVC. Mann becomes the second Belmont player to take top honors after he averaged 18.4 points and 4.8 rebounds a game. Byrd coached Belmont to a second straight OVC championship by going 14-2 again for the Bruins’ fifth straight league title overall.

Corey Walden of Eastern Kentucky is the league’s defensive player of the year. Guard Cameron Payne of Murray State is the freshman of the year.

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