Feb. 27, 2007
Senior guard Brian Fisk has been named Defensive Player of the Year by the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Fisk and junior forward Eddie Ard were also named to the All-Atlantic Sun Second Team. Conference coaches vote on the postseason awards.
From Mercer's James Florence to Belmont's Justin Hare, Fisk gets the assignment to guard the toughest offensive player in each game.
"I think Brian is very deserving of this award," Lipscomb coach Scott Sanderson said. "I think he earned it. I have said all along that he is one of the best defenders in our league, especially as an on-ball defender.
"We ask so much of him. We ask him to guard the best player on each team and we also ask him to score for us. He is a very well-rounded player."
Fisk possesses all of the skills necessary to be a top-notch defender. Sanderson admits that some of those skills cannot be taught.
"Brian has strength and he has an understanding of the game," Sanderson said. "He knows how to guard people. He knows the tendencies of the players he guards. He is a great position defender. He knows where to be doing things like coming off of a screen.
"He has toughness and you can't teach that. He is a tough, big-time competition. He doesn't like to lose. He has a will to win and a will to stop people. And it's not just in games, it is in practice too."
Fisk has been a member of the All-Atlantic Sun team every season at Lipscomb. In 2003-2004 he was a member of the All-Freshman Team. In 2004-2005 he was an All-A-Sun Second Team selection. Last season he was a First Team All-A-Sun pick.
"Brian probably hasn't had the whole body of work that he has had in the past," Sanderson said. "But in the last five or six games he has been consistent and has played like he is capable of playing."
Over the past five regular season games Fisk has averaged 16.8 points and 5.6 rebounds. Fisk is second on the team in scoring with 13.1 points per game. Fisk scored a season-high 30 points at Stetson. And tied his career high for rebounds in a game with eight against Jacksonville.
"He will be the first one to tell you that he has been up and down offensively. Bu defensively he has been consistent all year long."
Ard was named to the Atlantic Sun All-Freshman team for the 2004-2005 season and was a First Team All-Atlantic Sun selection last season. Ard has averaged 13.4 points and 5.6 rebounds in his last five games.
Ard leads the Bisons in scoring with 14.9 points per game. He has scored 25 points in a game twice this season against Stetson and at Kennesaw State.
"It is more of what they haven't done," Sanderson said when explaining why both players were second team picks this season. "They haven't had the same types of games they had last year. They both know that.
"They both have had stretches when they played very good. Teams have tried to take them away and sometimes that takes time to adjust to offensively. They have been great contributors to this team, but they haven't been consistent night-in and night-out on both ends of the floor. But we still have the conference tournament left to play."