Mount Olive guard Kendrick Easley has been named Division II Men’s Basketball National Player of the Month for November, as selected by Division II Bulletin. Easley becomes the second player in Trojan history to win the award.
Easley, a 6-1 sophomore from Norfolk, Va., averaged 29 points and 9.5 rebounds in wins over two preseason nationally-ranked teams in the 42nd Annual Pickle Classic, hosted by Mount Olive. In the Trojans’ 97-86 win over then-No.8 Wingate, Easley scored a career-high 36 points, the most points scored by a Trojan in the Pickle Classic and the fifth-highest single-game scoring total in school history. He followed that with his first collegiate double-double, tallying 22 points and a career-high 12 rebounds in an 84-70 victory over then-No. 15 West Virginia State.
Easley was named Most Valuable Player of the Pickle Classic and also earned Conference Carolinas Men’s Basketball Player of the Week honors. A preseason All-America honorable mention, Easley capped the month with 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals in Mount Olive’s conference-opening 101-82 victory over Pfeiffer.
In 2006-07, Easley was named Freshman of the Year in the conference and was also among 10 players nationwide selected to the Division II Men’s Basketball All-Freshman Team.
Easley joins Marcus West as the only two Trojan men’s basketball players to be named national player of the month. West won the award during the 2002-03 season.
Unranked in the preseason, Mount Olive debuted at No. 15 in this year’s first regular season NABC Division II Top 25. The Trojans have earned a national ranking in each of the last five years.
After taking final exams this week, the Trojans return to action December 13 as Mount Olive travels to Murfreesboro, N.C., to take on Chowan in a non-conference match-up. Tip-off is 7 p.m.