DENVER – Bemidji State University senior forward James Ellisor (Glendale, Ariz.) has been named Daktronics Central Region Player of the Year and senior guard Bryce Tesdahl (Crosby, Minn.) was recognized as Second Team All-Central Region Wednesday, selected by members of College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Ellisor was the top vote getter among the five First Team All-Central Region selections to earn the honor of region player of the year for the first time in recorded Bemidji State men’s basketball history. The five first team members now move on to the Daktronics All-America ballot. Ellisor is the first student-athlete at BSU to earn first team recognition since Charles Hanks in 2003-04. Tesdahl was named to the five player second team to earn his first all-region award of his career.
The central region is comprised of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC).
Ellisor was NSIC Player of the Year, First Team All-NSIC and a four-time NSIC Player of the Week this season. He led the league in scoring with 22.9 points per conference contest. His 504 total points in league play established a new conference record for points in a season, while his 182 field goals made also placed his name atop the NSIC single-season list. He scored 30 points on five occasions, including the final three games of the regular season to guide the Beavers to their first NSIC Regular-Season Championship since 2003-04. He posted a career-high 34 points on three different occasions to tie for the league’s top single-game performance in the 22-game NSIC schedule. The senior led the NSIC in 3-point percentage with a 57.8 percent clip and ranked in the top 10 in minutes per game (2nd, 33.86 mpg), field goal percentage (4th, 59.3%), free throw percentage (6th, 87.7%) and rebounds per game (9th, 6.0 rpg).
In two seasons at Bemidji State, Ellisor has amassed 1,117 career points to rank 14th on BSU’s career points list and become the 15th player at BSU to reach the 1,000 point plateau. He posted his 18th 20-plus point game March 3 in the NSIC semifinal to reach 664 points this season and set the BSU mark for points in a single season. He has 22.1 points per game to rank No. 4 nationally.
A First Team All-NSIC selection, Tesdahl finished the conference season with an NSIC-record 144 assists to surpass the previous mark by six and has totaled 177 assists this season to be BSU’s single season record holder. He averaged 6.5 assists per game in conference play to lead the league, while also posting a 3.00 assist/turnover ratio that was first in the NSIC. He tallied a career-high and league-best 12 assists twice and 10 assists once for three of the five 10-plus assist games recorded in conference play in 2011-12. His 44.6 3-point percentage ranked seventh in the NSIC and his 32.09 minutes per game tied for 12th. He posted a double-double against University of Minnesota, Crookston Feb. 10 with 11 points and 12 assists. In NSIC play he totaled 6.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game, shot 82.5 percent form the charity stripe and had 21 steals.
Tesdahl became BSU’s career assist leader last season and has dished out 555 helpers in his career as a Beaver. He has nine 10-plus assist games in his career. This season his 5.9 assists per game sits 13th in the nation.
The Beavers (22-8, 16-6 NSIC) will make its second appearance in the NCAA tournament in program history March 10 as the No. 3 seed taking on the No. 6 seed St. Cloud State University at 1 p.m. (CST) in Golden, Colo. Top seeded Colorado School of Mines hosts the top eight teams in the 2012 NCAA Central Region Tournament March 10-13.
Bemidji State University, located in Bemidji, Minn., is an NCAA Division II institution and a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).