March 4, 2010
San Antonio – Kevin Kotzur was named Heartland Conference Freshman of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, Jeff Campbell was named Defensive Player of the Year and Head Coach Jim Zeleznak received Coach of the Year in the 2010 Heartland Conference Men’s Basketball Awards, released on Thursday. Curtis Mitchell also received second team All-Heartland Conference recognition.
Kotzur (Fr., La Vernia, Texas) is averaging 15.7 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. He is shooting an NCAA-best 67.2 percent from the field and has seven double-doubles this season. In addition to his Freshman of the Year and Newcomer of the Year awards, Kotzur was also named first team All-Heartland Conference, the only freshman to be named to either the first or second team.
Campbell (So., San Antonio) was recognized for his hard work as the Heartland Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year. The award marked the third straight season that St. Mary’s has had the Defensive Player of the Year, after Lorenzo Anthony won it each of the last two seasons. Campbell averaged 3.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.0 steals per game.
Zeleznak was named Heartland Conference Coach of the Year for the first time. Zeleznak is in his fifth season as the Rattlers head coach and has a record of 82-59. He has led the Rattlers to the Heartland Conference Tournament in four of his five year, including the 2008 Heartland Conference Tournament Championship. St. Mary’s also advanced to the NCAA South Central Region Tournament in 2008.
Mitchell (Sr., Milwaukee) earned second team All-Heartland Conference recognition for the second straight season. Mitchell is second on the team in scoring with 13.6 points per game. He leads the Heartland Conference with an average of 4.1 assists per game. Mitchell dished out a career-high 13 assists against Lincoln University of Missouri, which is also a St. Mary’s NCAA Division II school record for a single game.
The Heartland Conference Basketball Tournament will start Thursday afternoon at Bill Greehey Arena at noon with the St. Edward’s University-Lincoln University women’s basketball quarterfinal. The St. Mary’s University men will open play Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. against Dallas Baptist University.