CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- Chattanooga juniors Keegan Bell (Hazel Green, Ala.) and Omar Wattad (Johnson City, Tenn.) were named to the All-Southern Conference second team today as announced by the league office. It is the first such honor for Bell, while Wattad was also named All-SoCon this week by the coaches.
"Both were crucial to our team capturing the 18th regular-season title in school history," said head coach John Shulman, who has guided the Mocs to four division titles in seven seasons. "Keegan is a floor general in every sense of the word. He brings energy and enthusiasm in everything he does. He is a joy to coach.
"Omar added a spark to our team that we lacked last season," added Shulman. "They are both very deserving of their honors."
Bell was one of three returning starters for Chattanooga in 2010-11. He leads the team in assists (179), steals (26) and minutes played (34.4/gm).
Wattad (86) and Bell (60) have combined for 146 three-pointers this season. Only Chad Copeland (80) and Brandon Born (67) in 1993-94 with 147 and Stephen McDowell (135) and Ty Patterson (49) with 184 in 2008-09 managed more as a duo. Copeland and Born in 1993-94 is the only other time the Mocs have had two players on the same squad with 60 or more treys made in a season.
Bell's highlights are many. He opened the season with 20 points, tying his career high with six three-pointers made at Tennessee. He's had two more 20-point efforts with 24 in the double overtime win over UNC Greensboro at home and a career-high 25 points on the road at Samford to key the Mocs' win to clinch a share of the SoCon North championship.
More importantly in his role at the point, Bell ranks among the nation's leader in assists (21) and assist/turnover ratio (32), while ranking second in both categories in the league.
He had 18 games with five or more assists including 13 with seven or more. He established a new career high with 13 in the home win over Appalachian State. His 179 assists entering the SoCon Tournament is the fourth-best total in school history (DI era). He also joined Tim Brooks (1992-93) as the only Mocs to record two seasons with 150+ assists.
This season Bell became the 16th UTC student-athlete to make 100 career three-pointers and the 22nd to record 1,000 minutes. His 1,067 minutes this season is No. 11 all-time and just 120 behind Gerald Wilkins' (1983-85) record of 1,187.
Wattad, a transfer from Georgetown, led the Mocs averaging 14.3 points per game. He shot 36.1 percent from three-point range making 2.8 per contest. His three-point numbers rank among the nation's top performers at No. 28 in treys made per game and No. 65 in percentage.
In league games only, Wattad shone bumping up his scoring average to 15.1 points per contest while shooting 39.0 percent from beyond the arc making a shade over three per game. He was 10th in the league in scoring, second in three-pointers made per game (2.8) and 13th in free throw percentage (76.9%).
Wattad topped the 20-point mark a team-high seven times in 2010-11. He had a season-best 30 points at The Citadel on Jan. 13 and 29 at Davidson on Feb. 5. His 27 points keyed the Mocs' exciting 91-88 home win over South Division co-Champ College of Charleston.
He scored in double digits 20 times this season leading the squad in scoring a team-best 11 times. He made four or more three-pointers 11 times with a high of eight (14 att.) at The Citadel. His 86 three-pointers made this year are tied for the fifth-best total all-time at Chattanooga.
The Mocs open SoCon Championship play on Saturday at 7 p.m. They will face the winner of Friday's Furman-Samford matchup in the quarterfinals. Chattanooga has won a league record-tying 10 tournament titles.
2011 MEN'S SOCON SPORTS MEDIA ASSOCIATION AWARDS
All-Conference First Team
Donald Sims, Appalachian State
Andrew Goudelock, College of Charleston
Cameron Wells, The Citadel
Amu Saaka, Furman
Noah Dahlman, Wofford
All-Conference Second Team
Omar Carter, Appalachian State
Chris Long, Elon
KEEGAN BELL, CHATTANOOGA
OMAR WATTAD, CHATTANOOGA
Mike Williams, Western Carolina
All-Conference Third Team
Donavan Monroe, College of Charleston
Jeremy Simmons, College of Charleston
Ben Drayton III, Georgia Southern
Tim Johnson, Wofford
Cameron Rundles, Wofford
Trent Wiedeman, College of Charleston
Jack Isenbarger, Elon
Eric Ferguson, Georgia Southern
Trevis Simpson, UNCG
Trey Sumler, Western Carolina
Malcolm U. Pitt Player of the Year
Andrew Goudelock, Sr., G, College of Charleston
Freshman of the Year
Trey Sumler, Fr., G, Western Carolina
Anton Foy Coach of the Year
Bobby Cremins, College of Charleston