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McLean Tabbed Big South Player of the Week
"Whenever your team puts together a winning streak, it is reflected in the way your group is working and playing together," said head coach Ritchie McKay. "I would be hard pressed to find a guy playing better then Alex right now. He has been a force in our improvement and I am very proud of him and our team. It is a great honor for Alex to be named conference player of the week when we play in a league with such talent."
McLean (Bay Shore, N.Y.) averaged 22.5 points and 9.5 rebounds for the week, leading Liberty to home victories over Longwood and Niagara. McLean scored 33 points on 13-of-19 shooting and grabbed 11 caroms against the Lancers on Nov. 27. The 33 points were a national high for the day. McLean also recorded two assists, one block and a steal, notching his third double-double of the season in 30 minutes of action.
On Saturday against Niagara, McLean tallied 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and pulled down eight rebounds, helping Liberty defeat the Purple Eagles, a team that made the NCAA Tournament two of the past three seasons. Niagara reached the NIT in between those two NCAA postseason runs.
In the game versus Niagara, McLean grabbed a defensive rebound with eight seconds remaining as Liberty clung to a two point lead. McLean was subsequently fouled on the play and connected on both free throw attempts, extending Liberty's lead.
McLean shot 69.2 percent from the field for the week on 18-of-26 shooting, while shooting 72.7 percent (8-of-11) from the charity stripe and chipping in 2.5 assists per game.
This is McLean's second time earning player of the week honors. The Big South named McLean its player of the week on Feb. 25, 2007, the week he set new career highs with 40 points and 19 rebounds at VMI.
This marks the sixth-straight year a Liberty player has earned player of the week honors. During the streak Larry Blair earned it outright on Dec. 13, 2004 and shared the honor with Torrell Martin of Winthrop on Feb. 26, 2006. Leo Lighbourne was tabbed with the honor on Feb. 7, 2005, Gabe Martin shared the honor with High Point's Danny Gathings on Feb. 9, 2004 and Jason Sarchet was honored on Feb. 17, 2003. McLean was the lone Liberty recipient last season and the first to garner honors so far during this year's campaign.
The conference's other weekly honor went to Jamarco Warren of Charleston Southern, who was named Choice Hotels Big South Freshman of the week.