One for the Great One: Craig Named A-Sun Freshman of the Year
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – After a stellar rookie campaign, Torrey Craig (Rock Hill, S.C.) has been named the Atlantic Sun's Freshman of the Year, announced today by the conference office in Macon, Ga, and he is just the third freshman in program history to earn freshman honors.
Craig joins Kevin Harrington (2001) and Daniel Quinlan (2006) as the only players to net Freshman of the Year accolades. Harrington and Quinlan both earned the honor when Upstate competed at the Division II level as a member of the Peach Belt Conference.
Craig, who was a unanimous selection to the A-Sun's All-Freshman Team, lead the Spartans in scoring (14.4 ppg), rebounding (7.2 rpg). He led the team in total defensive rebounds (148) and steals (29), while tying for the team lead in offensive rebounds (68). Craig ranked second in both blocked shots (11) and assists (44).
The Spartan freshman was a two-time Newcomer of the Week selection (Nov. 23; Dec. 7) and ranked in the top eight in five different A-Sun statistical categories. Craig finished the regular-season third in defensive rebounding (4.93 drpg), fourth in rebounding, fifth in 3-point field goals made (2.27 pg), sixth in offensive rebounding (2.27 orpg) and eighth in scoring.
In conference games, Craig found his name at the top of several statistical categories. He led the league in defensive rebounding with 5.50 defensive rebounds per game. He ranked second in rebounding (7.9 rpg), fourth in 3-point field goals made (2.70 pg), fifth in scoring (16.4 ppg) and tied for seventh in offensive rebounding (2.35 orpg).
At the end of Upstate's regular season, Craig ranked sixth nationally (among freshmen) in scoring. The only freshmen ahead of Craig are: Jared Sullinger (Ohio State), Terrence Jones (Kentucky), Brandon Knight (Kentucky), Trey Ziegler (Central Michigan) and DeAndre Kane (Marshall).
Craig sits tied for 12th (among freshmen) with his 7.2 rebounds per game average. He recorded 15 rebounds against ETSU (Dec. 5), which places him in a tie for 15th in a single-game (among freshmen), while his 14 rebound performances against UNC Asheville (Nov. 29) and Stetson (Feb. 4) places him in a tie for 27th (among freshmen).
Craig's conference scoring average places him fifth nationally (among freshmen), trailing only Trey Ziegler (Central Michigan), Perry Jones (Baylor), Jared Sullinger (Ohio State) and Cleveland Melvin (DePaul). He is also tied for ninth (among freshmen with five double-doubles.
Craig had a quiet start to his first season in a Spartan uniform as he scored just four points in the season opener at Michigan (Nov. 13) and five points at Virginia (Nov. 15). Craig's coming out party came in the Charleston Classic. In the opening game, Craig tallied 13 points against Wofford (Nov. 18). A day later, Craig connected on five three pointers and finished with 17 points against Coastal Carolina. The Rock Hill, S.C., native wrapped-up the Charleston Classic with 19 points in his first collegiate start against East Carolina (Nov. 21).
In the home opener against UNC Asheville (Nov. 29), Craig recorded his first collegiate double-double as he finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds in the Spartans thrilling 93-91 double overtime victory over the Bulldogs.
In Craig's next outing, the conference opener against ETSU (Dec. 5), he again posted a double-double as he scored 18 points against the Bucs and grabbed a career-best 15 rebounds as Upstate claimed a 60-59 win over the defending conference champions.
Craig tallied nine points and six rebounds at North Carolina State on Dec. 11 before getting on an offensive roll where he reached double figures in 14 straight games and 16 times in 17 games.
Upstate found itself in a 19-point hole with 10 minutes to play against Campbell on Dec. 16, but behind Craig's strong second half the Spartans had a chance to tie the game late but came up just short. Craig finished with 19 points and six rebounds against the Camels.
After scoring 11 and 12 points at Auburn (Dec. 21) and Virginia Tech (Dec. 30), respectively, Craig notched his first 20-point game. At Kennesaw State (Jan. 3), Craig sank a career-best 11 field goals as he finished with 25 points against the Owls.
Craig reached the 20-point plateau just five days later as he tallied 24 points against Stetson as he tied a career-best with five triples.
The Spartan rookie posted back-to-back 20-point games as he tallied 20 at North Florida (Jan. 15) and 23 against Belmont (Jan. 21). Craig recorded double-double number three as his 23-point, 10-rebound performance nearly gave Upstate the upset win over the Bruins.
Craig again had back-to-back 20-point games, this time both Spartan victories. Against Kennesaw State (Jan. 31), Craig scored a career-best 27 points as he finished with 10 field goals and again hit five three pointers.
At Stetson, in the A-Sun/CSS Game of the Week, Craig had just five points at halftime but woke up just in time for a stellar final stanza. Craig knocked down five three pointers as he finished with 15 second half points in the Spartans 72-59 win on Feb. 4. He sank a career-high six treys to finish with 20 points, while grabbing 14 rebounds and securing his fourth double-double.
Against both North Florida (Feb. 11) and Jacksonville (Feb. 13), Craig posted 14 points and finished with his final double-double of the season as he grabbed 10 rebounds against the Ospreys.
In his final two games of the season Craig again reached double figures. He scored 20 points at Campbell (Feb. 26) as Upstate claimed a 70-64 win despite going the final 4:31 without a made field goal. In the season finale against Florida Gulf Coast (Feb. 28) he finished with 14 points, giving him 23 double-figure scoring games in 2010-11.
Player of the Year
*Mike Smith - ETSU
Freshman of the Year
Torrey Craig, USC Upstate
Defensive Player of the Year
Ayron Hardy - Jacksonville
Coach of the Year
Rick Byrd, Belmont
*Mike Smith - ETSU
Ian Clark - Belmont
Ayron Hardy - Jacksonville
Adnan Hodzic – Lipscomb
Brian Mills - Mercer
Josh Slater – Lipscomb
** A Tie in the voting resulted in a 6-player First-Team
Anthony Banks - FGCU
Markeith Cummings – Kennesaw State
Mick Hedgepeth - Belmont
Scott Saunders - Belmont
Micah Williams – ETSU
* Torrey Craig – USC Upstate
* Christophe Varidel - FGCU
* Corey Walden - Stetson
Langston Hall - Mercer
Luis Jacobo - Stetson
J.J. Mann - Belmont
Keith McDougald – Jacksonville
** A Tie in the voting resulted in a 7-player First-Team