ANGOLA, IND. -- Senior Pete Smith (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) and junior Marcus Winters (Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic) swept the special awards to highlight the Trine University men's basketball selections on the 2018-19 All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Teams.
Smith was named the MIAA "Most Valuable Player," in addition to garnering first-team All-MIAA honors and Winters was tabbed as the MIAA "Defensive Player of the Year." Also earning All-Conference recognition was senior Myles Copeland (Perrysburg, Ohio/Toledo St. John's) as a second-team pick.
All three players have played key roles in helping the Thunder post an 18-7 overall record and claim the team's first MIAA regular-season championship with an 11-3 mark in conference play.
Smith earns his second All-Conference selection since joining the Thunder as junior last season and becomes the second player in Trine history to be named MIAA Men's Basketball "MVP." This season, Smith is currently leading the MIAA in two statistical categories that includes three-pointers made (84) and steals (44). He is second on the team in overall scoring with a 14.2 points per game average while shooting 45.0 percent overall (121-of-269). Most of his shot attempts have come from behind the arc this season with 84 makes in 202 attempts (41.6 percent). He has scored in double figures in 20 games so far this season, including five games of 20 or more points with a season-high 26 points in a loss against Calvin (Mich.) College in which he made eight triples.
In addition to his shooting totals and his league-best 44 steals, Smith is third on the team in assists with 72 and is among the team leaders in rebounding with 3.8 boards per game.
Winters posted 31 steals during the regular season which is the second highest on the team and third best in the MIAA. Winters has also made an impact as a rebounder with 106 total boards (26 offensive and 80 defensive) and averages 5.3 rebounds per game to rank second on the team. He has recorded two games with 10 or more rebounds that included a 12-rebound effort in a win against Great Lakes Christian College and had one double-double in which he scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against Kalamazoo (Mich.) College on Feb. 13. He also had two other games in which he tallied nine rebounds and a total of 12 games so far this season with five or more boards.
Offensively, Winters has averaged 4.6 ppg. on 41.7 percent shooting (35-of-84) with a season-high 14 points in a win against Alma (Mich.) College on Jan. 23. He is second in assists with 73 (seventh in MIAA) and has tallied five or more helpers in nine games highlighted by a career-high nine-assist effort in Trine's last game of the regular season against Alma.
Copeland, who was a first-team All-MIAA selection last season, became a two-time All-Conference player with his second-team selection this winter. He currently ranks in the top-10 in the MIAA in multiple statistical categories that includes: field goals made (fifth - 151), free-throws made (second - 106), points (seventh - 408) and points per game (eighth - 16.3). All four statistics lead the Thunder to go along with leading the team in field goal attempts (337), free-throw attempts (143) and defensive rebounds (100). Copeland has scored in double figures in all but three games and has scored 20 or more points in six games. He has posted one double-double which came early in the season against Kenyon College in November where he finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Copeland is currently third on the team in rebounding average at 5.0 and is also third in blocked shots with seven. In addition, he has recorded 39 assists so far this season and has 19 steals.
Trine will be the top seed in the upcoming MIAA Tournament and will host the semifinal and championship games at the MTI Center beginning on Friday, Feb. 22. The Thunder will face the winner of the #4 seed/#5 seed game on Friday with tip-off scheduled for 3 p.m.