GANSEVOORT, N.Y. - The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) released its 2016-17 men's basketball all-conference awards Thursday and four players from Gallaudet University's men's basketball team were honored along with its head coach.
Senior center Joshua McGriff (Somerset, N.J.) and senior guard Raymond Nelson (Riverside Calif.) were named to the first team while junior forward Andy Cruz (Bronx, N.Y.) was selected to the second team and freshman guard Noah Valencia (Riverside, Calif.) landed on the third team. Gallaudet head coach Kevin Kovacs was selected by his peers as the 2016-17 NEAC Men's Basketball Coach of the Year.
Kovacs has guided the Bison to its first-ever NEAC Men's Basketball South Division regular-season championship. This is the most successful season in Gallaudet men's basketball history as the Bison have set program records for wins (20) and conference wins (18). GU is ranked No. 3 in NCAA Division III for field goal percentage defense (36.7) and 3-point field goal defense (28.8). The Bison are also ranked seventh in defensive rebounds per game (31.36) and ninth in blocks (134) and blocks per game (5.4).
McGriff earns his third All-NEAC honor in his career and makes his second consecutive appearance on the first team. McGriff was named to the D3Hoops.com Team of the Week earlier in the season (Nov. 30). He is third in the country for blocks (85) and blocks per game (3.40) and ninth in field goal percentage (64.1). He surpassed 1,000 career points this season and currently sits in Gallaudet's Top 10 all-time for points (1,345).
Nelson, like McGriff, earned his third appearance on the all-conference team as he was selected to the first team for the first time after two third-team honors. The senior guard leads the conference in assists (130), fifth in steals (55) and 10th in field goal percentage (48.7).
Cruz and Valencia are making their first appearance on the All-NEAC team. Cruz ranks third in the NEAC for defensive rebounds (148) and fourth in rebounds (213) and rebounds per game (8.5). Valencia is 14th in Division III for 3-point field goal attempts (220) and fourth in the conference for 3-pointers (75).
The four all-conference honors earned by the Bison were the most by any school. The four All-NEAC honors in one season are a new program record.
Wells College sophomore guard Rich Ross was honored as NEAC Player of the Year as he led the conference in 3-pointers (81) and compiled 564 points. Morrisville State College freshman forward Kevin Dennis was picked as the NEAC Rookie of the Year as he totaled 17 double-doubles and led the conference in rebounds (286).
The Bison have 18 All-NEAC honors (8 first team, 2 second team, 8 third team) since joining the conference in 2010-11.
2016-17: Joshua McGriff (First Team)
2016-17: Raymond Nelson (First Team)
2016-17: Andy Cruz (Second Team)
2016-17: Noah Valencia (Third Team)
2015-16: Trey Gordon (First Team)
2015-16: Joshua McGriff (First Team)
2015-16: Raymond Nelson (Third Team)
2014-15: Trey Gordon (First Team)
2014-15: Raymond Nelson (Third Team)
2013-14: Orion Palmer (Second Team)
2013-14: Joshua McGriff (Third Team)
2012-13: Layton Seeber (First Team)
2012-13: Danny Kelly (Third Team)
2011-12: Brandon McMillan (First Team)
2011-12: Tony Tatum (Third Team)
2010-11: Layton Seeber (First Team)
2010-11: Danny Kelly (Third Team)
2010-11: Tony Tatum (Third Team)
Below is a brief paragraph on Gallaudet's honoree (stats and rankings as of 2/22/2017)
2016-17 Gallaudet University Men's Basketball All-NEAC Honoree
ALL-NEAC FIRST TEAM
|Joshua McGriff, Sr., Center
Two-time All-NEAC selection (First Team – 2015-16; Third Team – 2013-14)...D3Hoops.com Team of the Week (Nov. 30, 2016)...Co-Captain...ranked No. 3 in Division III for blocks (85), blocks per game (3.40)...ninth in field goal percentage (64.1)...30th in offensive rebounds per game (3.64)...64th in double-doubles (10)...69th in total rebounds (233)...ranks first in the NEAC for field goal percentage (64.1), blocks (85)...second in total rebounds (233), rebounds per game (9.3)...third in offensive rebounds (91)...fourth in defensive rebounds (142)...10th in field goals (148-231), points per 40 min (24.9)...14th in points (384), points per game (15.4)...15th in free throws (88-157)...surpassed 1,000 career points this season and currently has 1,345 (Top 10 in GU history)...had seven games with five or more blocked shots...scored 20 or more points in seven games...scored a season-high 30 points against Eastern Mennonite (Nov. 19).
|Raymond Nelson, Sr., Guard
Two-time All-NEAC Third Team Selection (2014-15, 2015-16)...co-captain...ranks 38th in assists per game (5.2)...39th in total assists (130)...45th in steals (55), steals per per game (2.2)...ranks first in the NEAC for assists (130)...fifth in steals (55)...sixth in minutes (828)...seventh in minutes per game (33.1)...10th in field goal percentage (48.7), defensive rebounds (123)...15th in field goals (130-267)...17th in points per game (14.0)...18th in points (350).
ALL-NEAC SECOND TEAM
|Andy Cruz, Jr., Forward
Co-captain...ranks third in the NEAC for defensive rebounds (148)...fourth in total rebounds (213), fourth in rebounds per game (8.5)...sixth in minutes (828)...seventh in offensive rebounds (65), steals (50), minutes per game (33.1)...eighth in field goal percentage (50.0)...18th in assists (65), free throws (80-109), free throw percentage (73.4)...19th in field goals (120-240)...20th in blocks (16)...21st in points (335)...recorded eight double-doubles...scored in double figures in 21 games
ALL-NEAC THIRD TEAM
|Noah Valencia, Fr., Guard
Ranks 14th in Division III for 3-point field goal attempts (220)...44th in 3-point field goals made (75)...47th in 3-point field goals per game (3.00)...ranks fourth in the NEAC for 3-pointers (75)...eighth in steals (45)...ninth in minutes (808)...10th in points per game (16.0)....11th in points (401)...12th in minutes per game (32.3)...16th in field goals (130-338)...18th in 3-point percentage (34.1)...scored 20 or more points eight different times...scored a career best 28 points twice this season...scored in double figures in 20 games this season.
NEAC COACH OF THE YEAR
|Kevin Kovacs, Gallaudet University
Guided Gallaudet to its first-ever NEAC Men's Basketball South Division Regular-Season Championship...has led Gallaudet to its most successful season in program history...the 20 wins and 18 conference wins are all program records...as a team Gallaudet is ranked No. 3 in Division III for field goal percentage defense (36.7), 3-point field goal defense (28.8)...seventh in defensive rebounds per game (31.36)...ninth in team blocks (134), blocked shots per game (5.4)...13th in total rebounds per game (44.2)...14th in steals per game (10.5), rebound margin (8.3)...17th in total rebounds (1,105), total steals (263).