Four Juniors Highlight Men's Basketball Preseason All-Conference Team
Stony Brook’s Tommy Brenton, a first-team All-America East standout last season, highlights the team as one of two unanimous selections. He is joined by three second-team all-conference honorees in Albany’s Mike Black, the other unanimous choice, Boston University’s D.J. Irving and UMBC’s Chase Plummer. Maine’s Alasdair Fraser and Vermont’s Brian Voelkel, both third-team recipients last year, round out the squad.
Brenton (Columbia, Md.), a 6-foot-5 senior forward, led Stony Brook to one of its best seasons in program history last year as the Seawolves captured the America East regular-season crown, reached the league title game for the second straight year and made its second NIT appearance in three years. The league’s Defensive Player of the Year last season, Brenton helped Stony Brook rank 13th nationally allowing just 59.1 points per contest. He averaged 8.1 rebounds (3rd in AE), 3.4 assists (6th in AE) to go with 7.8 points per game. He earned Co-Player of the Week honors on Jan. 23.
Black (Chicago, Ill.) earned all-conference accolades for the second straight year in 2011-12 after ranking 10th among league leaders in scoring (13.4 ppg) and third in assists (4.3 apg) last year. The 6-foot senior guard, who has twice been named America East Player of the Week in his career, led a Great Dane attack that paced the league in several categories including points per game (72.1 ppg) and field goal percentage (.446). Black is the conference’s active leading scorer (1,024 points) and assist man (299 assists).
Irving (Philadelphia, Pa.), one of the conference’s top playmakers, led America East with 5.4 assists per game last season en route to earning second-team all-conference honors. An All-Rookie selection as a freshman, he also increased his own scoring output in 2011-12, averaging a career-best 11.4 points per game, which ranked 18th in the league, while shooting 43.1 percent from the field, which ranked second among guards. The 6-foot junior guard twice earned Player of the Week honors last year.
Plummer (Plainfield, N.J.) broke out in 2011-12 to earn second-team all-conference accolades. The 6-foot-6 junior forward averaged 15.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last season after contributing just 6.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game as a freshman. Plummer, the only player to rank in the conference’s Top-5 in both scoring (fourth) and rebounding (fifth), was even better in conference play as he went over 20 points five times in 16 games and was third averaging 16.7 points per contest.
Fraser (Falkirk, Scotland) emerged as one of the best low-post presences in the conference last year as he ranked 12th in scoring (12.9 ppg), fourth in rebounding (7.8 rpg), third in blocked shots (1.4 bpg) and third in field goal percentage (.543) en route to earning third-team All-America East honors. The 6-foot-7 forward, who helped Maine rank second in the league in scoring (68.6 ppg), registered an America East-best eight double-doubles last year and twice earned Player of the Week recognition.
Voelkel (Pleasantville, N.Y.) picked up where he left off during his Rookie of the Year campaign in 2010-11 as he led the conference in rebounding (8.6 rpg) for the second-straight year. The 6-foot-6 junior forward, who was an All-Defensive selection, also ranked second in assists (5.1 apg) and finished third in steals (1.7 spg). In addition to his stellar regular season, Voelkel averaged four points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in three America East Championship games to earn Most Outstanding Player honors and lead UVM to its fifth league crown.