USC Aiken men's basketball loads up on Peach Belt Conference awards

Mar. 6—After a second consecutive Peach Belt Conference regular-season championship for the USC Aiken men's basketball team, Tyler Johnson has been named PBC Player of the Year presented by College Ave while Tehree Horn and Jalen McCoy also earned all-conference honors. Head coach Mark Vanderslice has been named the Herbert Greene Coach of the Year.

Johnson and Horn both earned first-team all-league honors while McCoy picked up third-team honors. The trio guided the Pacers to their second consecutive No. 1 seed.

In conference-only play, Johnson accounted for 18.1 points per game, marking the second-best average in the PBC. His 7.1 boards per night in league play marked the third most this season. Johnson's 47.5% field goal percentage is the sixth best in PBC play. Johnson finished 10th in free throw percentage (80.6%). He also ranked fifth in 3-point field goals per game (2.2). Johnson's 34 steals are the second most in PBC play. Eight times Johnson scored at least 20 points, including two times over 30. This marked the fourth time a Pacer has picked up the honor (Chris Commons — 2007-08, 2008-09, Re'Mon Nelson — 2012-13). He was named PBC Player of the Week on March 4.

Horn, who just established the career scoring mark for USCA during its Division II era, finished sixth in scoring in PBC games by netting 17.2 points per night. Horn finished the season fourth in PBC games by hitting 51.5% of his shots. He finished tied for 10thin PBC play by hitting 1.8 3-point field goals per game. Horn netted at least 20 points 10 times this season, including a season-best 27 in the win at Flagler. He picked up PBC Player of the Week honors on Feb. 12.

McCoy, who missed more than a month of time with an injury, secured third-team honors with his outstanding season. Overall, he averaged 18.3 points per game while hitting 59.4% of his shots from the floor. McCoy averaged 5.6 boards per night and registered 16 steals on the year. He erupted for a career-high 35 points at Georgia College on 13 of 16 shooting from the floor and eight of eight from the foul line. McCoy was named PBC Player of the Week four times.

Vanderslice was tabbed the Herbert Greene Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season and the third time in his career (2016-17, 2022-23, 2023-24). Picked to finish second in the PBC Preseason Poll, Vanderslice's team knocked off North Georgia and Lander in the final two games of the season to secure the outright PBC Championship while claiming the No. 1 seed in the PBC Tournament. Vanderslice's team compiled a 23-5 overall record, including a 14-4 mark in PBC play. The 23 victories marks the third time at the helm of the program the squad has won at least 20 games (27 in 2018-19, 24 in 2022-23).