Jackson, Tenn. - 2/28/2002 - Union University takes the top three postseason honors in the TranSouth Conference released on Thursday. Robert Joseph, on the heels of his record breaking block, was named the TranSouth Conference Player of the Year and also the Newcomer of the Year. Head coach Ralph Turner was named the TranSouth Conference Coach of the Year. Two other Bulldogs, Bruno Martinessi and Chima Abakwue, were honored as all-conference performers.
In addition to being selected as the conference player and newcomer of the year, senior forward Robert Joseph was the only Bulldog named to the All-TranSouth Conference First Team. Joseph leads the TranSouth Conference in scoring with 21.7 per game and in blocks with 6.9 per game. He is second in the conference with 9.6 rebounds per game and is third with a .628 field goal percentage. Joseph has just become college basketball’s all-time single season blocks leader when he passed the old mark set by David Robinson back in 1986. Joseph also holds the Union single game record for blocks (12), Union’s single season record for blocks (215) and the NAIA single season record for blocks (215).
Union’s freshman guard from Paraguay, Bruno Martinessi was named to the All-TranSouth Conference Second Team and the TranSouth All-Freshman team. Martinessi is averaging 10.7 points per game this year. His 6.5 rebounds per game and 4.06 assists per game are good for second on Union’s squad, and he ranks eight and seventh in the conference in those categories. He made 70 of 89 free throws on the season for a team leading .787 percentage.
Chima Abakwue, sophomore guard from Cedar Hill, Texas, was also selected to the All-TranSouth Conference Second Team. Abakwue was tied for second on Union’s team with three other Bulldogs with 11.0 points per game. He leads the conference, for the second year in a row, with 80 three pointers made and is fifth in the conference with a .428 (80-187) percentage. Abakwue is also averaging 2.35 assists per game.
Union’s head coach Ralph Turner is this year’s TranSouth Conference Coach of the Year. Turner has led his Bulldogs to a 28-4 overall record a No. 3 national ranking, their highest since the 1998-99 season. He also led the Bulldogs to their second TranSouth regular season title in four years. He also became Union’s winningest coach this season with his 186 win of this career. Turner’s current career record is 194 – 81 (.705).
The Bulldogs have the No. 1 seed in the TranSouth Tournament which gives them home court through the tournament. Union has a bye for tonight’s first round and will play the winner of the Freed-Hardeman University/Lyon College winner on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. < align="center">#DOGS#
2002 TranSouth All-Conference Team and Award Winners
All-TranSouth Conference First Team
Robert Joseph - Senior, Union University
Johnny Goodman - Senior, Martin Methodist College
Desmond Allison - Senior, Martin Methodist College
Lorenzo Withrite - Junior, Lee University
Jamie Norsworthy - Junior, Freed-Hardeman University
Brandon Byrd - Sophomore, Lyon College
Tony Lambert - Senior, Freed-Hardeman University
Tomas Oresansky - Junior, Freed-Hardeman University
Eric Herrick - Senior, Berry College
Carlo Singleton - Senior, Lee University
All-TranSouth Conference Second Team
Marshall Hyler - Junior, Treveca Nazarene University
Bruno Martinessi - Freshman, Union University
Chima Abakwue - Sophomore, Union University
Will Partin - Junior, Trevecca Nazarene University
Kirk Feinswog - Sophomore, Berry College
TranSouth Conference All-Fresham Team
Bruno Martinessi - Union University
Wesley Poe - Trevecca Nazarene University
Cameron Fitch - Berry College
Chris Wilkinson - Lyon College
Adam Darragh - Martin Methodist College
TranSouth Conference Player of the Year - Robert Joseph, Union University
TranSouth Conference Newcomer of the Year - Robert Joseph, Union University
TranSouth Conference Coach of the Year - Ralph Turner, Union University
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