FORT MYERS, Fla.- Today we look at part three of our four part series on the Florida SouthWestern State Teams of the Decade, focusing today on the Bucs' Men's Basketball program. The FSW Men's Basketball program has been nothing short of dominant in their brief history, going 115-15 overall and 46-2 in Suncoast Conference play in their four seasons, including three straight Conference Championships and three straight trips to the NJCAA National Tournament.
There is no way that the team, voted on by staff, media, and fans, could encompass all of the great players that have gone through the program in just a short time, but this is a fun, lighthearted way to help celebrate some of the best. Enjoy!
A member of the inaugural Bucs' squad in 2016, Tyler Cheese was a two time All-Conference performer for FSW. His name is all over the Bucs' record books where he ranks second in assists with 262 and steals with 93, fifth in scoring with 793 points, and fifth in rebounding with 271 boards. An explosive scorer, Cheese holds three of the top four single game scoring marks in program history including one of two 40 point games in Bucs history. His 199 assists as a sophomore in 2018 continues to be a program record while his 53 steals that season were a program best until Keon Ellis topped the mark this season. Upon his graduation from FSW, Cheese went on to star at the University of Akron for two seasons.
The Bucs' first All-American and all-time leading scorer and rebounder, Tremell Murphy was a shoe in for the FSW All-Decade Team. Murphy put up 904 points in his two seasons for the Bucs, averaging 15.1 points per night for the Purple and Aqua. Murphy shot north of 50% from the field during his FSW career and is the Bucs' all-time leader in free throws made with 228. His 405 rebounds in two seasons is a program record, as are both his 147 offensive boards and his 258 on the defensive glass. Also a force on the defensive end, Murphy ranks third all-time in steals with 88 and blocks with 55. He was a First Team All-American in 2018 after being named the Suncoast Conference Player of the Year and was named a First Team All-Conference selection in both seasons in Fort Myers. After his FSW career, Murphy went on to be a key cog in Drake University's return to prominence in the Missouri Valley Conference.
The third member of our team is Charles Manning Jr. In two seasons with the Bucs, Manning Jr. didn't lose a single conference game, earning a pair of Suncoast All-Conference nods. He was the Suncoast Player of the Year and an All-American pick his sophomore season when he put up the second best scoring season in program history, when he became the first player to top the 500 point mark (later matched by Keon Ellis). Manning Jr. ranks in the top five all-time in nearly every statistical category for the Bucs including scoring (2nd), rebounding (3rd), assists (5th), and blocks (2nd). Manning Jr. helped lead LSU to a top 25 ranking this season and will be headed back to Baton Rouge as a senior in 2020-21.
Keon Ellis burst onto the scene in 2019-20 to earn his way onto the All-Decade Team. He put up the top scoring season in program history this season, pouring in 563 points at a clip of 18.1 points per game, both FSW records. Shooting 54% from the field and 40% from three during his sophomore campaign, Ellis was named the Suncoast Conference Player of the Year and a Second Team NJCAA All-American. Without the COVID-19 outbreak prematurely shutting down his sophomore postseason, Ellis would have had a chance to push Murphy for the program's all-time scoring mark where he finished with 837 points which ranks fourth on the career list. A tenacious defender, Ellis shattered the record for career steals with 114 and also ranks third on the blocked shot charts with 56 in his two seasons. He will be headed to the SEC to go head to head against Manning Jr. next season when he takes the floor for the University of Alabama.
The fifth and final member of the Bucs All-Decade Team is ShanQuan Hemphill. 'Tank', was exactly that for the Bucs, sitting third on the Bucs' all-time scoring list with 841 career points and is FSW's second all-time leading rebounder with 360 career boards. Hemphill shot 59% from the field in his two seasons, the third best mark in program history and the best of any of the top five scorers. His 14 field goals made against IMG in 2018 continues to be the most a Buc has made in a single game in program history. He was a two time All-Conference selection including being named a First Team pick his sophomore year. He starred at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay as a junior and will transfer to join a host of Bucs, including Murphy and former Head Coach Marty Richter at Drake University for his senior campaign.
Stay tuned to FSWBucs.com and @FSWBucs on social media on Friday as we wrap up our look at th