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JBU men garner conference accolades

by JBU Sports Information | March 15, 2023 at 9:20 a.m.

Four members of the John Brown University men's basketball team, headlined by senior Payton Guiot, were honored by the Sooner Athletic Conference, the league office announced Feb. 23.

JBU senior Payton Guiot was selected to the 2022-23 All-Sooner Athletic Men's Basketball third team, as voted on by the league head coaches. Additionally, two Golden Eagles -- Lukas Gabani and Malachi Reeves -- were named to the SAC's All-Freshman team, while senior James Beckom was selected to the five-member All-Defensive team.

Scoring an average of 14.3 points per game, Guiot paced the John Brown offensive effort as the lone Golden Eagle to average in double-figure scoring. The Paragould native finished as the league's 15th-ranked scorer after a pair of 30-point performances on the season and another five 20-point efforts. Hitting the third-most triples in the league this season, Guiot finished 71-of-93 from behind the arc, scoring at a near 37 percent rate. His 40 steals on the defensive end were tied for seventh-most thefts in the Sooner.

Beckom was named to the All-Defensive team after anchoring the league's second-best defense -- allowing just 71.7 points per game -- by pacing the squad and finishing fifth in the league in rebounds per game (7.6). The Irishman also averaged 8.8 points per game and produced a team-best eight double-doubles on the season. In conference play, the guard's statline ballooned to 10.1 points and 8.3 rebounds a night, as he scored the most points (213) and easily pulled down more boards (174) than any Golden Eagle in league action.

Gabani was the Golden Eagle force this season in the post, providing JBU with 7.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest. Along with a career-best 21-point outing at No. 3 Langston, the native of Bolivar, Mo., scored in double figures 10 times and averaged 10.2 points per game over the second semester.

Reeves, a River Bluff, S.C. product, started 23 games and saw action in all 28 in his first season, averaging 8.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists per contest. Besides scoring a career-best 16 points at Oklahoma City, he scored in double figures 10 times this season, including three of his final four games.

"I'm so proud of our guys who for earning these awards," said head coach Jason Beschta. "It speaks to the hard work that has gone in to prepare them for this year, as well as a high level of commitment to competing and getting better throughout the season.

"Payton has proven himself to be not only a great scorer, but also a facilitator who makes his teammates better by creating so many easy shots for others. He has ridiculous range to his shot and quick hands with great anticipation skills on defense. James has been such a tireless worker on the court throughout his time with us; there is no one who outworks him in any game and he sacrifices his body, time and again, to come up with a big rebound or make a defensive stop. We are excited about the future with all of our freshmen, and both Lukas and Malachi have earned the opportunity to play big roles for us this year. It's been fun to watch Lukas development throughout the season as he has grown and his skills and confidence to become a force around the paint. Malachi is capable of making big place for us at both ends of the floor and has proven himself to be someone that we want to have on the floor because he simply makes us better."

  photo  Gabani
  photo  Guiot
  photo  Reeves
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