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Tookie Brown wins Sun Belt Player of the Year
Tookie Brown
Georgia Southern's Tookie Brown, skies for a layup in a Jan. 10 win over UL Monroe in Hanner Fieldhouse. On Monday, Brown was named the Sun Belt Conference's Player of the Year. Brown and the Eagles head to New Orleans this week to compete in the Sun Belt Conference tournament. - photo by By SCOTT BRYANT

NEW ORLEANS – Tookie Brown has been named the Sun Belt Men’s Basketball Player of the Year and first-team all-conference, and Quan Jackson was named third-team All-Sun Belt, the league announced Monday.

The only player in Sun Belt history to tally over 2,000 points and 500 assists, Brown becomes the first four-time first-team all-league selection in the 44-year history of the conference. The senior is the first Eagle to win Player of the Year since Elton Nesbitt was named Southern Conference Player of the Year in 2006, and it is the sixth time in program history an Eagle has been named conference Player of the Year.

"He's the player of the year, but he could also be the person of the year," GS coach Mark Byington said. "I'm thrilled for him and it's been a pleasure watching him for the last four years."

Brown ranks eighth in the conference in scoring (17.9 ppg), third in field goal percentage (.509), third in assists (4.8 apg), 10th in free-throw percentage (.767), sixth in steals (1.4 spg), second in assist to turnover ratio (+2.0) and fifth in minutes (35.1. mpg). The point guard directs an offense that ranks fourth in the country in field goal percentage (.503) and 11th in scoring (83.5). 

Brown won Sun Belt Player of the Week honors twice, was the MVP of the Islands of the Bahamas Showcase, scored in double figures in 30 games, posted two double-doubles and led the Eagles in scoring 21 times and in assists in 25 games.

"I remember his second game in his freshman season," Byington said. "I told him that he wasn't going to make it unless he was more aggressive."

Brown, always a quiet leader, showed flashes of what was to come even back then.

"Tookie never said a word," Byington said. "He just put his head down and went to work. He's been a leader and one of our hardest workers ever since he got here and that's part of what makes him so deserving of this award."

Jackson ranks 14th in the Sun Belt in scoring (14.8 ppg), ninth in field goal percentage (.446), 14th in free-throw percentage (.726), 13th in minutes played (32.2) and is tied for third in steals (1.4 spg). The redshirt sophomore scored in double figures 23 times and led the Eagles in scoring in seven contests and in rebounding in four games.

Georgia Southern tied for second in the Sun Belt standings, the fourth time in their five seasons in the league that the Eagles have finished in the top-3. The third-seeded Eagles receive a bye into the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Tournament at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans and will play an opponent to be determined Friday, March 15. Tipoff is slated for 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+.