MAC Cuthbertson

In this Jan. 7, 2017, file photo, Mineral Area forward Zac Cuthbertson (21) splits two Three Rivers defenders to score during a men's basketball game in Poplar Bluff, Mo. Cuthbertson was officially named an NJCAA Division I Third Team All-American on Thursday, Apr. 6, 2017.

Matt King, Daily Journal

PARK HILLS – Zac Cuthbertson received a fresh start with the Mineral Area College men’s basketball team last summer when transferring along with Devin Thomas from Lincoln Trail.

The athletic and explosive post players established an immediate presence with the Cardinals under second-year head coach Luke Strege.

Mineral Area finished with a 28-3 record that included a program record 24-game win streak and an eventual No. 4 national ranking.

Cuthbertson, a native of Pleasant Hill, N.C., was rewarded for his steady production Thursday by being selected as an NJCAA Division I Third Team All-American.

The 6-foot-7 forward became the 18th member of the MAC men’s program – and third in three years – to achieve All-American status.

Cuthbertson averaged 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds while shooting 58 percent from the field and 71 percent from the line during his sophomore season.

He netted a season-high 28 points during a road win at West Kentucky Tech, and tallied 27 in a home victory over MSU-West Plains.

Cuthbertson, the reigning Region 16 Player of the Year, adds an extra offensive dimension from 3-point range where he connected on 33-of-68 attempts to rank 15th nationally.

He originally signed in November with the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, but was granted a release earlier this week after head coach Kevin Keatts accepted the vacancy at North Carolina State.

Keatts led the Seahawks to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including a 76-71 first-round loss to Virginia last month that capped a 29-6 campaign.

Matt King is the sports editor for the Daily Journal. Contact him at mking@dailyjournalonine.com

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