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The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

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The Appalachian

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Two Mountaineers earn preseason Sun Belt honors

Forward+Donovan+Gregory+shoots+a+fadeaway+over+a+Furman+defender+Nov.+11%2C+2022.+Gregory+enters+his+fifth+season+with+the+Mountaineers.
Ashton Woodruff
Forward Donovan Gregory shoots a fadeaway over a Furman defender Nov. 11, 2022. Gregory enters his fifth season with the Mountaineers.

With college basketball season right around the corner, two App State players earned preseason Sun Belt Honors, the conference announced Monday in a release.

Graduate student forward Donovan Gregory received preseason first-team Sun Belt honors after making third-team at the end of last season. The Charlotte native averaged a team-high 12.5 points per game while also leading the team in total assists and steals. Last season, Gregory became the first Mountaineer to post 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 300 assists and 150 steals for his career.

“I’m so proud of Donovan for this well-earned accomplishment,” said head coach Dustin Kerns. “Each year, Donovan continues to work on his game and his body and has shown he has the ability to perform in big moments. He is the ultimate competitor, and he understands how competitive the Sun Belt is and the level of play it takes to be one of the best players in the conference each night.”

Senior forward CJ Hunley earned preseason third-team Sun Belt honors. Huntley averaged a career-high 9.2 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 47% from the field. During the off-season, Huntley was invited to NBA star Damian Lillard’s Formula Zero Elite Camp where 20 of the top college and high school players compete and learn from the seven time NBA all-star. 

“CJ has shown he is deserving of this recognition,” Kerns said. “He has worked hard and had another productive in his development. Being invited to the Formula Zero camp this August was a big step in his development, and I’m excited to see the hard work be paid off.”

The Black and Gold were picked by coaches to finish second in the Sun Belt standings, only behind James Madison. With a team returning five starters and 72% of offensive production, the Mountaineers have a chance at winning the Sun Belt and returning to the NCAA Tournament.

“Expectations are a good thing, but can’t be our focus,” Kerns said. “We are focused on the process of being the best team we can be. We ultimately know that the best teams have a chip on their shoulder and have humility to constantly improve.”

App State tips off their season in Boone Nov. 7 against Oakland City.

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About the Contributors
Ethan Smith, Sports Editor
Ethan Smith (he/him) is a senior journalism major, media studies minor. This is his third year writing for The Appalachian.
Ashton Woodruff, Photo Editor
Ashton Woodruff (she/her) is a junior IDS Criminal Justice/Photojournalism major, and a Social Work minor. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
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