FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University senior swingman Brandon Parker has been named the 2019 Peach Belt Conference Men's Basketball Co-Player of the Year, while FMU forward Kailex Stephens was selected the PBC Co-Freshman of the Year and senior guard Ryan Davis earned second-team All-Conference recognition. The post-season honors were announced at the conference's awards banquet in Augusta, Ga., on Friday night (March 8).
Parker earned third-team All-Conference honors last year. He becomes the third Patriot to ever be named the PBC Player of the Year, joining Detrek Browning who won the award last year and Carlton Farr in 1995.
A 6-3 native of Sumter, Parker ranks third in the conference in scoring at 18.7 points per game and also is among the Top-20 in the PBC for rebounding (6.6 rpg), assists (80), steals (35), and minutes played (33.0 mpg). He ranks second in the conference in free throw accuracy (84.0%) and fourth in three-point percentage (46.3%). He is connecting on 49.0 percent of his total field goal attempts, 19th-best in the Peach Belt.
Parker has scored in double figures 24 times, including eleven 20-point games and four 30-point efforts. He has also registered three double-doubles, and handed out five or more assists on seven occasions. He was named the PBC Player of the Week three times during the 2018-19 season.
During the season, Parker surpassed the 1,000-point mark, and he currently ranks 15th in career scoring (1,264), 10th in steals (121), 22nd in rebounds (459), and 28th in assists (198).
Davis, a 6-3 native of Cartersville, Ga., is second on the Patriot squad in scoring at 15.0 ppg. That figure ranks 15th in the PBC, while he also stands 11th in steals (44), 13th in assists (91), and 15th in rebounding (6.1 rpg). He has amassed 29 more assists than turnovers despite playing the eighth-most minutes of anyone in the conference (33.4 mpg).
He has scored in double figures 22 times, including six 20-point outings. In only two seasons at FMU, he has recorded 745 points, 36th on the Patriot career scoring list.
Stephens, a 6-7 native of Tuscaloosa, Ala., becomes the seventh Patriot to pick up Freshman of the Year accolades. This season, he has started 27 of 28 contests and is averaging 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. He is shooting 41.1 percent from the floor, including 30.3 percent from behind the three-point arc, and has connected on 63.8 percent of his free throws.
Stephens scored in double figures on 20 occasions, including the first 10 games of his collegiate career. He has scored 20 points on five occasions and posted four double-doubles.
Parker shared his award with Augusta University's Deane Williams, while Stephens shared his award with Augusta's Miguel Arnold.
The FMU trio has helped lead Francis Marion (21-7) to its second consecutive 20-win season, a program-record 16 conference wins during the regular season, and a spot in Saturday's PBC Tournament semifinals in Augusta. The third-seeded Patriots will play second-seeded and nationally ranked USC Aiken at 7:30 p.m. The championship game is set for Sunday at 4 p.m. FMU is also hoping to earn its second straight bid to the NCAA Division II National Tournament. That field will be announced on Sunday evening at 10:30 p.m.
Parker helped lead Sumter High School to a state title, Davis was an All-State performer at Cartersville High School and Stephens garnered honorable mention All-State recognition at Paul W. Bryant High School.