Ryan repeats as scholar-athlete of the year

Per "Voice of the Aces" Lance Wilkerson, UE senior Colt Ryan with his hardware.

Per Lance Wilkerson, UE senior Colt Ryan with his hardware.

Along with two straight years on the all-Missouri Valley Conference first team, UE senior Colt Ryan is again the league’s scholar-athlete of the year.

The honor was announced Thursday in St. Louis at the MVC’s Coach of the Year Reception, where the league awarded Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall the banquet’s title honor.

“If I’m coach of the year then Marty Simmons should be coach of the decade for beating us twice,” Marshall said, according to “Voice of the Aces” Lance Wilkerson.

The coach of the year votes: Marshall (87 points), Creighton’s Greg McDermott (64), Southern Illinois’ Barry Hinson (24) and UE’s Simmons (20).

Ryan, an accounting major with a 3.432 grade-point average, averaged 23.4 points per game in MVC games to go with 4.3 assists and 1.3 steals. He’s also scored a league-leading 25.6 points per game when it counts most — in games since Feb. 1.

Ryan is the third player to win the scholar-athlete of the year award in consecutive years.

“It means a lot” to be a student-athlete, Ryan said Thursday. “I pride myself being a great person not only on the court but also off. That’s how I’ve been raised. My parents have done a great job with that, with me. They instilled that in me very early, and I just try to be the best I can be at everything I do.”

The Batesville, Ind., native enters this week’s MVC tournament 64 points from breaking former UE star Larry Humes’ program scoring record.

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