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Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / UTC's Matt Ryan, with ball, dribbles past Tennessee State guard Wesley Harris on Nov. 9, 2019, at McKenzie Arena.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's Matt Ryan and Ramon Vila were among those honored Wednesday as the Southern Conference released its list of postseason awards for the 2019-20 men's basketball season.

Ryan, whose scoring average of 15.8 points per game led the Mocs during the regular season, was voted to the All-SoCon second team by both coaches and media. Vila, picked for the third team in both cases, is UTC's second-leading scorer this season at 12.9 points per game and leads the team in rebounds at 5.5 per game.

In a UTC release, coach Lamont Paris reflected on the honors.

"I think any individual accolade is typically a by-product of what your team does," Paris said after Wednesday's practice as the sixth-seeded Mocs (19-12) prepared for Saturday's 8:30 p.m. quarterfinal against No. 3 seed UNC Greensboro (23-8) at the league tournament in Asheville, North Carolina.

"Their teammates embrace the role Matt and Ramon have, and they've helped to have the kind of individual seasons to be recognized by the league's coaches and media. Both of those guys have worked really hard, they're good players in their own right and they've had really good seasons, particularly toward the end."

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Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / UTC forward Ramon Vila drives past Tennessee State's Shakem Johnson during a home game on Nov. 9, 2019.

Ryan, a graduate student who previously played at Notre Dame and Vanderbilt, is 11 points shy of becoming the 24th basketball player in UTC history to score 500 points in a season and the 16th of the Division I era, a 43-year span. The 6-foot-7, 215-pound guard/forward is a 36% shooter from 3-point range this season, and Ryan has made at least two 3-pointers in each of his past 10 games, a streak in which he has averaged 19.2 points per game.

Vila is a redshirt junior who transferred from Arizona State in January 2018. The 6-foot-8, 242-pound forward's 62.2% field-goal shooting ranks 10th nationally, and he has scored in double digits in 14 of his past 15 games. He has scored at least 20 points four times this season, with three of those performances last month.

UNCG's Isaiah Miller was voted the SoCon player of the year by coaches and media, as well as the league's top defensive player by coaches (the media does not select a top defender). East Tennessee State's Steve Forbes, who led the Buccaneers (27-4) to a 16-2 record in SoCon play to earn the tournament's No. 1 seed, was named coach of the year in both cases.

A complete list of the honors is available at SoConsports.com.

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6296. Follow him on Twitter @youngsports22.

 

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