5 - Benny Valentine
Benny Valentine
Height: 5-7
Weight: 175
Year: Sr.
Hometown: Omaha, Neb.
High School: Omaha Central '05
Previous College: Texas Tech
Position: G
Experience: 1L*

Kirk Earlywine on Valentine: "We need Benny to be more judicious with his shot selection. He took too many bad shots last year. He's one of the best students in our program and very, very bright intellectually and academically, but he tends to be his own worst enemy at times because of his thought processes. We have to minimize those occurrences this year. Benny is one of the most competitive players I've coached, however, with him that can be a curse at times. His ability to score is a given, but for us to be a really good team, Benny must do a lot more - run the team, get shots for other guys, work as hard in practice and help his teammates. I am dumping a lot on Benny's shoulders, but I wouldn't do it if I didn't believe in him and know that he could handle it."

2008-09: Earned second team All-Big Sky Conference honors. He was also a member of the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII team, and was one of four Eagles to earn Big Sky All-Academic honors. He led Eastern in scoring in 15 games, with a pair of 30-point performances, six outings with at least 20 and 25 of 30 games in double figures. He also led the Eagles in assists 15 times, rebounding twice and steals on 14 occasions. Valentine finished third in the league with a 15.1 scoring average, ranking behind Anthony Johnson from Montana (17.6 average) and Loren Leath from Sacramento State (15.6). He also averaged 3.1 assists (sixth in the league), 1.5 steals (fifth) and 2.8 rebounds per game. His 55 three-pointers made ranks 10th in school history and his 158 three-point attempts is eighth. He attempted 406 field goals overall in 2008-09, ranking as the eighth-most all-time at Eastern. In EWU's 12 victories in 2008-09, Valentine averaged 17.8 points on 46.6 percent shooting from the field. In Eastern's losses, those figures fell to 13.3 points and 34.6 percent shooting. Valentine was selected as the Big Sky Conference Player of the Week on Nov. 25, 2008, after leading the Eagles to three-straight NCAA Division I victories in a six-day stretch. He averaged 19.3 points, 3.3 assists and 1.0 steals in those three victories, making 46.2 percent of his field goal attempts (18-of-39) and 68 percent of his free throws (19-of-28) as Eastern defeated UC Irvine (74-69), Texas Arlington (73-70) and Idaho (69-59). He had 28 points and four assists versus UTA, a NCAA Tournament participant in 2008 and the defending Southland Conference champion. His 33-point effort against Sacramento State (1/4/09) ranks 23rd in school history and his 31 points versus Northern Colorado (1/15/09) ranks 31st.

2007-08: Redshirted because of NCAA Division I transfer rules.

Texas Tech: Played for Bobby Knight at Texas Tech in the 2006-07 season, averaging 11.8 minutes in the 20 games he played (including two starts). He averaged 3.5 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists, while making 38.8 percent of his shots from the field (26-of-67). He made 35.3 percent of his three-pointers (12-of-34), including three against Marquette (11/20/06) when he scored a season-high 17 points. That led to a season-high 30 minutes of playing time in his next game against Air Force when he had seven points and four rebounds. However, he played in just two of Texas Tech's last 11 games of the season as the Red Raiders finished the season 21-12.

Howard College: Played the 2005-06 season at Howard College, a junior college in Big Spring, Texas. He led the Hawks in scoring with an average of 17.6 points per game, and also averaged 3.2 assists. He led his team to a 35-2 record and conference and regional titles. The Hawks were at one time ranked No. 1 in the country and finished fifth in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Tournament. It was the school's first national tournament appearance in 39 years. He earned All-Western Junior College Athletic Association honors and was also a first team All-Region selection. Valentine was MVP of the South Padre Island Tournament, the Polk Classic Tournament and the Odessa Thanksgiving Tournament. He was coached by Mark Adams.

High School: Graduated from Omaha Central High School in 2005. He averaged 21 points and six assists as a senior to earn second team All-State honors. He was also a first team All-Metro selection in Omaha as he led his team to a 24-2 record. He averaged 15 points as a junior.

Personal: Born May 12, 1987 in Omaha, Neb. Business management major. Parents are Benny Valentine Sr. and Kimberly Valentine-Lessley. He has three sisters (Dasha, 30; Keisha, 28; MarQuita, 24). Nickname is "B.J."

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