Hazzard, Vogler, McNair named all-conference
With the regular season title already in tow, Troy racked up some individual awards Tuesday.
For the second straight year, senior guard Brandon Hazzard was named first team All-Sun Belt, as voted by media and coaches.
“For Brandon, it is very special for him to be named first team two years in a row,” said Troy head coach Don Maestri. “I don’t think we’ve ever had a guys who was picked first team all-conference two straight years, so that shows you how significant he has been.”
Hazzard is not alone on the all-conference team, however.
Senior guard Michael Vogler was named second team All-Sun Belt, an improvement from last year when Vogler was named third team All-Sun Belt.
“For Mike to be able to move from being third team last year to second team this year, it really shows you how much respect he has from the other 12 coaches in this league since you can’t vote for your own players,” Maestri said.
Hazzard finished the season third in the Sun Belt in scoring at 16.5 points per game. He also finished second in 3-pointers made with 72.
While Hazzard has been a prolific scorer during his time at Troy, it has often been the timing, rather than the amount, of his points that has been so impressive.
“Brandon has been the big shot maker for us for two years now,” Maestri said. “He hit the big shot to put us up or win the game three or four times last year, and this past weekend against UALR and Arkansas State, he hit some really, really big shots at the end of those ball games.”
Vogler, meanwhile, has often been the catalyst for Troy’s dribble-drive offense over the last two seasons.
“Mike is our Drew Brees or Peyton Manning,” Maestri said. “He is the quarterback of this basketball team. He is, in my opinion, without a doubt, the best point guard in the conference.”
Vogler scored 12.2 points per game this season, while also leading the conference in steals with 57. He also finished second in the conference in assists with 162.
Vogler’s impressive assist total this season enabled him to take over the No. 1 spot on Troy’s Division I career assists list with 452.
While Hazzard and Vogler both earned all-conference honors Tuesday, they were not the only Trojans so honored.
The Troy women’s basketball team also had one player named to the all-conference team in the form of junior forward Donette McNair, who was named third team All-Sun Belt.
While McNair may have been the only female Trojan to garner selection, women’s head coach Michael Murphy said McNair would not let her teammates go unrecognized.
“I think it’s a tremendous honor for Donette, but she’d be the first to tell you she’d like to share it with her teammates,” McNair said. “Basketball really is the ultimate team game. She needs her teammates to get her the ball, and everybody needs help on defense, so I know she’s sharing this with her teammates.”
This was the fourth straight year the Trojans had a player selected to the all-conference team.
“This is the fourth year in a row that we’ve had somebody make the all-conference team, so that is definitely a good feeling,” Murphy said. “It really lets you know that you’re doing the right things in recruiting.”
McNair averaged 13.1 points per game and 9.7 rebounds per game, good enough to rank in the top 15 in scoring and third in rebounding.
“Again, this is a tremendous honor, and I really think it was because of her ability to rebound the basketball that she got onto the team,” Murphy said. “Her ability to go up and get 12 or 14 or 16 rebounds per game in conference play really was the catalyst for her making the team.”