|Twice As Nice: Wilson Repeats as Menís Basketball Player of the Year|
BOSTON Ė Albany’s Jamar Wilson (Bronx, N.Y./Our Savior New American School) becomes just the fifth player in conference history to repeat as America East Men’s Basketball Player of the Year. The senior guard highlighted the award winners at the league’s annual awards brunch held at Fenway Park’s State Street Pavilion on Friday morning.
Vermont’s Mike Lonergan was also honored as the 2006-07 America East Coach of the Year, while Boston University’s Tyler Morris (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) garnered Rookie of the Year honors and Brian Lillis (Urbandale, Iowa/West Des Moines Dowling) of Albany took home Defensive Player of the Year accolades.
Wilson was also recognized as the America East Player of the Game for the 2006-07 season after receiving the most post-game recognitions during the regular-season campaign. Mike Trimboli (Norwalk, Conn./St. Luke’s School) of Vermont took home the inaugural Fans’ Choice Player of the Year award as he received over a third of the near 4,500 votes cast online through www.AmericaEast.com.
Wilson joins the elite company of Taylor Coppenrath of Vermont (2003, 2004, 2005), Craig “Speedy” Claxton of Hofstra (1998, 2000), Drexel’s Malik Rose (1995, 1996) and Northeastern’s Reggie Lewis (1985, 1986, 1987) as the only players to repeat as Player of the Year in America East history. Wilson, the 2003 Rookie of the Year, is the program’s all-time leading scorer and currently leads the conference in scoring (18.6 ppg) and ranks second in assists (4.86 apg) and fifth in rebounding (6.2 rpg).
In just his second season at the helm of the Catamounts, Lonergan has guided Vermont to the most regular-season wins in school history (23) and to its third regular-season title. Picked to finish third in the preseason coaches’ poll, the Lonergan-led Catamounts exceeded expectations by dominating on the glass and winning on the road. Vermont leads the nation in rebounding margin (+9.8 rpg) and road wins (14), while pacing America East in scoring (70.4 ppg), scoring margin (+5.1 ppg), field goal percent defense (40.7 percent), offensive rebounding (14.93 orpg), defensive rebounding (26.17 drpg) and blocked shots (4.0 bpg).
Morris’ selection as Rookie of the Year marks the fifth time in conference history that the Terriers have boasted the league’s top freshman. The 6-1 guard, who received a medical redshirt a season ago, ranks top-10 in the league in scoring (10th, 13.9 ppg), field goal percentage (ninth, 47.1 percent), free throw percentage (fifth, 79.8 percent), three-point field goal percentage (first, 47.9 percent) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.23).
Lillis has been the key component to the Great Danes success on the defensive end of the floor this season as he often draws the task of defending the opponents’ top player. Despite being just 6-5, Lillis ranks seventh in America East in blocks (0.72 bpg) and is also tied for 10th in steals (1.48 spg).
Joining Wilson on the all-conference first team is teammate Jason Siggers (Dallas, Texas/Skyline/New Mexico Junior College), Hartford’s Bo Taylor (Reston, Va./Paul VI Catholic/Bishop O’Connell/South Lakes) and Vermont’s Chris Holm (Henderson, Nev./Green Valley/Rhode Island) and Trimboli. Siggers ranks eighth in the league in the scoring (14.2 ppg) and has shown the ability to take over games on several occassions this season for the Great Danes. Taylor has been arguably the league’s most improved player from a season ago as he ranks fifth in scoring (14.9 ppg), 11th in rebounding (5.1 rpg) and third in field goal percentage (49.1 percent). Holm has been the key to Vermont’s domination on the glass all season long as he ranks second in the country in rebounding (12.2 rpg) and has tallied 14 double-doubles (points-rebounds) on the year. The ying to Holm’s yang has been UVM point guard Trimboli. The 2006 Rookie of the Year has turned into a sensational sophomore that ranks second in America East in scoring (16.0 ppg), third in assists (4.79 apg) and second in free throw percentage (83.3 percent) and steals (1.86 spg).
Morris is joined on the second team by Binghamton’s Mike Gordon (Plainfield, N.J./Plainfield), Kevin Reed (Yarmouth, Mass./St. Thomas More Prep) of Maine, Brian Hodges (Upper Marlboro, Md./Bishop McNamara) of UMBC and New Hampshire’s Blagoj Janev (Sydney, Australia/Australia Institute of Sport).
The third team is comprised of Albany’s Brent Wilson (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Prairie), Boston University’s Omari Peterkin (St. Thomas, Virgin Islands/Univ. of Notre Dame), New Hampshire’s Jermaine Anderson (Beverly, Mass./Phillps Exeter), Ricky Lucas (Herndon, Va./Herndon/George Washington) of Stony Brook and Martin Klimes (Prague, Czech Rep./Walsingham (Va.) Acad.) of Vermont.
One of the most talented freshman classes in recent memory makes up a stellar all-rookie squad. Morris and teammate Corey Lowe (Newton, Mass./Newton North) of Boston University are joined by Binghamton’s Lazar Trifunovic (Belgrade, Serbia/Secondary Railway Tech.), Hartford’s Joe Zeglinski (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Ryan) and Vermont’s Joe Trapani (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand).
Gordon and Klimes are once again all-defensive selections after being named to the inaugural squad last season. Lillis is also joined on the all-defensive team by Anderson and UMBC’s Chris Pugh (Clinton, Md./Oxon Hill).
All of the annual award winners will be in action at the 2007 America East Men’s Basketball Championship at Boston University’s Agganis Arena beginning tonight with first round action at 7 p.m.
2006-07 America East Men’s Basketball Annual Award Winners
Coach of the Year