CINCINNATI — Xavier University freshman Semaj Christon has been named Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Year, Second Team All-Atlantic 10 and a member of the A-10 All-Rookie Team. Christon is the first XU player in Xavier’s 18 seasons in the Atlantic 10 to win A-10 Rookie of the Year and the first XU freshman ever named to the A-10’s first, second or third team.
Xavier senior Travis Taylor has been named the Atlantic 10 Conference Most Improved Player and Third Team All-Atlantic 10. Taylor is Xavier’s first-ever selection for the Chris Daniels Most Improved Player Award.
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Christon leads Xavier in scoring at 15.4 ppg. (tied for sixth overall and first among freshmen in the Atlantic 10), assists at 4.7 apg. (fifth overall and second among freshmen in the A-10) and steals at 1.4 spg. (11th overall and second among freshmen in the A-10). He has scored in double figures in 26 games, including each of the last 18 games. He was a seven-time Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week selection.
Taylor is the Atlantic 10’s rebound leader at 9.0 rpg., including an A-10 best 10.2 rpg. in Atlantic 10 action. Taylor, Xavier’s second-leading scorer at 11.8 ppg., had 19 points, a career-high 19 rebounds and a career-high six blocked shots in the Saint Louis win on March 6.
The complete list of award winners is in the attached PDF. Temple senior Khalif Wyatt was named Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Player of the Year and Saint Louis coach Jim Crews was chosen as the Coach of the Year. VCU’s Briante Weber earned Defensive Player of the Year and Cody Ellis of Saint Louis was named the A-10’s Sixth Man of the Year.
The awards serve as the lead off to the 2013 Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championship, which tips off Thursday from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The single-elimination tournament features 12 teams battling for the A-10 title and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Xavier opens Atlantic 10 Championship play against Saint Joseph’s on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.