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Sports >  EWU basketball

Eastern Washington’s Ethan Price named Big Sky Freshman of the Year

UPDATED: Tue., March 8, 2022

Eastern Washington Eagles forward Ethan Price (10) guards Northern Colorado Bears forward Kur Jongkuch (15) in the paint during the first half of a college basketball game on Saturday, Jan 22, 2022, at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
Eastern Washington Eagles forward Ethan Price (10) guards Northern Colorado Bears forward Kur Jongkuch (15) in the paint during the first half of a college basketball game on Saturday, Jan 22, 2022, at Reese Court in Cheney, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
By Dan Thompson For The Spokesman-Review

Eastern Washington men’s basketball player Ethan Price was named Big Sky Conference Freshman of the Year, part of the annual all-conference awards announced on Tuesday.

Eagles grad transfer Linton Acliese III and redshirt freshman Steele Venters were named to the All-Big Sky second team. Idaho senior guard Mikey Dixon was recognized as an honorable mention.

The awards are voted on by the conference’s 11 head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for players from their teams.

The big winner was Jubrile Belo. The Montana State junior forward was named the Big Sky’s Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year. He was also a unanimous first-team selection.

In 30 regular-season games, Belo averaged 13.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. He led the Big Sky with 57 blocks – 21 more than any other player.

MSU coach Danny Sprinkle was unanimously named Big Sky Coach of the Year after leading the Bobcats to a 24-7 record (16-4 in the Big Sky) and their first regular-season Big Sky title in 20 years.

For Eastern, Price is the program’s seventh player to be named freshman of the year and the first since Bogdan Bliznyuk in 2015. His award comes a day after EWU’s Jaydia Martin was named the conference’s women’s basketball freshman of the year.

During the regular season, Price, a the true freshman, averaged 10.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He also made 48% of his shots overall and 43.2% of his 3-point attempts.

Venters leads the Eagles and ranks sixth in the Big Sky with 16.5 points per game. Acliese ranks seventh in the conference at 16.0 points per game.

Acliese is also sixth in the Big Sky in rebounding average (7.1 per game) and is first in field-goal shooting (53.3%).

Venters is the Big Sky’s most accurate 3-point shooter (43.5%) and its third-best free-throw shooter (82.9%).

Dixon leads the conference in free-throw shooting (87.7%). He also ranks eighth in shooting (43.3%) and fifth in scoring average (16.9 points per game).

Joining Belo on the first team are Daylen Kountz (Northern Colorado), Xavier Bishop (MSU), John Knight III (Southern Utah) and Koby McEwen (Weber State), who was also named newcomer of the year.

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