Plainview – Wayland Baptist’s J.J. Culver has been selected to participate in the 2020 NAIA Men’s Basketball All-Star Game.
Culver was one of 15 players named to the West team. He was one of only two Sooner Athletic Conference players invited to participate, along with Kentton Williams of SAGU.
The game will be held as part of the NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championships in Kansas City, with tip off at 6 p.m. championship night, Tuesday, March 24, inside Municipal Auditorium.
Culver and the Pioneers, who were eliminated from the SAC Tournament in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, are hoping to earn an at-large berth into the 32-team NAIA National Tournament Championship field. Wayland is 20-11 and ranked the equivalent of 30th in the NAIA Coaches’ Top 25.
The bracket will be revealed at 7 p.m. March 11 on the NAIA’s Facebook page.
On Wednesday, Culver was named to the All-SAC First Team for the second straight year. Last season’s SAC Player of the Year when he also earned NAIA First Team All-American honors, Culver led the Pioneers in scoring at 23.1 points per game, rebounds (6.4), assists (3.2) and steals (2.7). He led the conference and was third in the NAIA in steals and was second in the SAC and sixth in the NAIA in scoring.
The 6-foot-5 senior guard from Lubbock shot 46 percent from the field, 34 percent (81-of-236) from 3-point range, and 77 percent (169-of-220) from the free-throw line. He has four career double-doubles.
Culver’s 1,925 points rank fifth all-time for the Pioneers. He scored 100 points in a single game earlier this season to become just the fourth collegiate player to score at least that many points in a single game and the second-highest total in NAIA history.
The all-star game will feature many of the top players from both NAIA Divisions I and II and will be coached by a pair of the top coaches in both.
Al Bruehl, head coach at Robert Morris (Ill.), will head the West squad. Bruehl is in his 27th season at Robert Morris and has amassed more than 600 career wins. The 2019-20 season marks his second coaching both men’s and women’s programs.
Coaching the East team will be Kelly Wells, who will end his tenure as head coach at Pikeville (Ky.) at the conclusion of the 2019-20 season when he will step down to focus on his duties as director of athletics. Wells entered the season with 313 wins over the course of 14 seasons.
Courtesy: Wayland Baptist University Athletics