WEST HARTFORD, Conn. -- After leading his team to its best season at the Division I level, Stony Brook University’s Muhammad El-Amin (Lansing, Mich./Holt/Lansing CC) has earned America East’s top honor, the Kevin Roberson Player of the Year award, becoming the first Seawolf to ever do so. El-Amin headlined the annual award winners, which were announced at the league’s yearly awards reception on Friday at the University of Hartford, which is hosting the 2010 America East Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championship presented by Newman’s Own Thursday through Sunday at Chase Family Arena. El-Amin’s coach, Steve Pikiell, was named Coach of the Year, while University of Vermont’s Marqus Blakley (Metchuen, N.J./Metchuen) earned his third straight Defensive Player of the Year award and Binghamton University’s Dylan Talley (Burlington, N.J./Life Center Academy) was tabbed Rookie of the Year. The winners were chosen in a vote by the league’s head coaches.
El-Amin, a senior guard, ranked third among the conference’s scoring leaders, averaging 16.8 points per game and increased his output to 19.1 ppg in league contests, which ranked second overall. A second-team all-conference selection a year ago, El-Amin has amassed 923 career points in just two seasons after transferring from Lansing Community College. He earned Player of the Week honors on Feb. 15 after averaging 27.5 points in two wins, including a 31-point performance against Binghamton on Feb. 13. El-Amin is just the fourth different Roberson Player of the Year since 2003.
Pikiell, who is in his sixth year at Stony Brook, led the Seawolves to a Division I program record 21 wins this season and their first America East regular-season title. The Seawolves, winners in 10 of their last 11 and 14-of-17, are the only team in the league to rank among the top three in both scoring offense and defense. Pikiell’s team has now won 37 games over the last two seasons after totaling just 20 victories in the previous three years combined.
Blakely, a senior forward, led the league in steals (2.6 spg) and blocks (1.9 bpg), while finishing the regular season second in rebounding (9.1 rpg). A first-team all-conference member for the third straight season, Blakley ranks among the league’s career leaders in two of the aforementioned categories. On Saturday, he became just the seventh player in conference history to grab 1,000 rebounds and ranks sixth on the all-time blocks chart with 277.
Talley, a freshman guard, ranked 17th among league leaders and was the top freshman scorer at 11.8 points per game. A five-time America East Rookie of the week, he raised that average to 13.3 ppg in games against conference foes, which was tied for 13th-best. Tally is the first-ever Bearcat to earn top rookie accolades.
El-Amin and Blakely, who also ranked second among league leaders, averaging 17.4 points per game in addition to his defensive prowess, were joined on the all-conference first team by Binghamton University’s Greer Wright (Lake Worth, Fla./Boca Roton Prep/CC San Fransisco), Boston University’s John Holland (Bronx, N.Y./St. Benedict’s Prep (N.J.)) and University of Maine’s Gerald McLemore (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch). Wright, a three-time Player of the Week winner, was one of just three players to rank among the conference’s top 10 in scoring (15.0 ppg) and rebounding (6.1 rpg). Holland, a repeat first-team choice, leads the league with 19.9 points per game and is also eighth with 6.2 rebounds per contest. McLemore, the first Black Bear to earn first team honors since 2003, poured in 14.9 points per outing and ranks among the nation’s best with 100 made three-pointers.
Boston University’s Corey Lowe (Newton, Mass./Newton North) and University of Hartford’s Joe Zeglinski (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Ryan) are repeat all-league selections and highlight the second team. Stony Brook’s sophomore tandem of Tommy Brenton (Columbia, Md./River Hill/Hargrave) and Bryan Dougher (Scotch Plains, N.J./Scotch Plains-Fanwood) were among the other choices, along with University of New Hampshire’s Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass./Boys to Men (Ill.)).
The third team consists of Boston University’s Jake O’Brien (Weymouth, Mass./Boston College High), Maine’s Sean McNally (Gardiner, Maine/Gardiner), UMBC’s Chauncey Gilliam (Columbia, Md./Brewster Academy (N.H.)) and Vermont’s Evan Fjeld (Durham, N.C./Durham Academy) and Maurice Joseph Montreal, Quebec/Champlain-St. Lambert/Michigan State).
Talley is joined on the all-rookie squad by University at Albany’s Mike Black (Chicago, Ill./Oak Park Fenwick), Maine’s Murphy Burnatowski (Waterloo, Ontario/Canadian National Elite. Development Acad.), UMBC’s Adrian Satchell (Windsor, Conn./Windsor) and UNH’s Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa./Prep Charter)
Blakely, a three-time All-Defensive honoree, is accompanied by Brenton, Boston University’s Carlos Strong (Portland, Maine/Deering), Maine’s Junior Bernal (Manhattan, N.Y./Hyde/MCI) and Vermont’s Garvey Young (Washington, D.C./Georgetown Prep).
The men’s portion of the 2010 America East Men’s & Women’s Championship presented by Newman’s Own kicks off tomorrow with four quarterfinal contest, followed by a pair of semifinal games Sunday night. The title game will be played on Saturday, March 13 at the site of the highest remaining seed at 12 noon on ESPN 2.