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Academic Honor

The Harding Bisons men's basketball team accumulated a 3.17 GPA, earning it the National Association of Basketball Coaches 2016-17 Team Academic Excellence Award.

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By Bruce Guthrie sports@thedailycitizen.com

The Harding Bisons basketball team received a national honor on Wednesday.

The National Association of Basketball Coaches gave the 2016-17 Bisons the Team Academic Excellence Award. The honor recognizes outstanding academic achievement by a team with a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better for the 2016-17 season.

The Bisons achieved a 3.17 cumulative GPA for the 2016-17 academic year and was one of only two Great American Conference teams to receive the award. It was the second time in three years that the Bisons have achieved such status winning also in 2014-15

The Bisons had a 14-13 record during the 2016-17 season, including 11-11 in the Great American Conference.

Harding ended its season in the quarterfinals of the Great American Conference tournament last season with a 72-58 loss to UAM.

The Bisons lose two seniors from that team including Will Francis and Stefan Andelkovic who were honored on the floor as well following their senior seasons.

Francis was named second team All-GAC for the second straight season in 2016-17. He ranks first in the GAC in 3-point field goal percentage, shooting 51.9 percent and ranks second in 3-point field goals made per game, averaging 3.1. Francis, who played his high school basketball at Harding Academy, made 81 3-pointers this season and passed Jacob Gibson as the all-time 3-point field goals leader at Harding with 239. Francis was also named a Crafton Tull Distinguished Scholar Athlete for his work in the classroom.

Andelkovic, from Vlasotince, Serbia, was been named honorable mention All-GAC. He ranked third on the team in scoring averaging 13.9 points and led the Bisons on the boards, averaging 6.5 rebounds.