Bryant Voiles, left, has grown 4 inches since enrolling at Augustana. Now at 6-foot-9, the redshirt junior is able to utilize the perimeter skills he learned while growing up as a guard. Voiles averages 12.5 points and 2.6 assists per game. Photo: Rashah McChesney/Quad-City times Rashah McChesney

Some folks - Augustana Vikings opponents, in particular - might be surprised to find 6-foot-9 Bryant Voiles leading the unbeaten Vikes in 3-point percentage and assists.

Moline Maroons coach Ryan Webber isn't one of those folks.

"He was always a guard growing up," the coach said of a player who has grown 4 inches since Webber coached Voiles at Byron High School four years ago. "In his younger years, he played point guard."

From 2006 to 2008, Webber had himself a 6-5 shooting guard in Voiles - whose father, Marty, is a former prep basketball coach as well as the Byron principal who hired a then-25-year-old Webber for his first head-coaching job.

"He shot it really well," Webber said of the player who captained a 29-2 sectional championship team as a senior. "But what made him special was his passing ability, his ability to see plays develop. He's just kind of the total package."

At Augustana, Voiles is an even more complete package for coach Grey Giovanine. That's partly because he now stands 6-9. It also is because he spent all but five games on the sidelines a year ago due to toe surgery.

Voiles, who averaged 4.4 points as a sophomore in 2008-09, returned as a medical redshirt this year for a second shot at a junior campaign.

"Really, the injury in retrospect is the best thing that could have happened in terms of his development," Giovanine said. "He is a guy who, if he were at a Division I school, you would redshirt automatically. His body stopped growing and started filling out and now he is really having an outstanding year."

Truth is, if Voiles had been 6-9 coming out of Bryon, he might have landed in a Division I program.

"He was kind of under the radar," said Webber, who credited Augie assistant Larry Schulte for seeing Voiles' potential and luring him to the Rock Island campus. "Bryant enjoyed Augustana from the get go. I think he liked the coaching staff and felt like it was a good fit for him. He's had a nice career."

Voiles is enjoying a tremendous season for the unbeaten Vikings.

He is the second-leading scorer at 12.5 points per game and also leads in blocks (10 total) and assists (2.6 per game). He is the No. 2 rebounder at 5.7 and has stepped out and hit 40 percent of his 3-point tries, which shares the lead with point guard Brian DeSimone.

"It wasn't very fun sitting out and watching," Voiles said of last year. "This year, I have come out with a chip on my shoulder and tried to get everybody playing with a lot of focus and energy."

Voiles is a particularly effective weapon for the Vikings because he is one of six players who stand 6-6 or taller. That has allowed both he and Giovanine to utilize his guard-honed perimeter skills at the small forward position.

"I think there are a lot of programs where he would be a 4 or a 5 and not really have a chance to do the things he can do for us," said the veteran Augie coach.

"Our big guys are tough," said Voiles, sounding very much like a guard. "Anybody we've got, I believe in and that makes me feel more comfortable on the outside."

Webber said Voiles would be an asset anywhere on the floor.

"He is a coach's dream, in terms of work ethic," Webber said. "He has got the highest character of any kid I have ever been around. He's just a winner."