JACKSON, Miss. - In exclusive voting by the head coaches of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC), senior guard Kola Alade of Austin College was selected as SCAC Men’s Basketball Player-of-the-Year while ‘Roos head coach Rodney Wecker was named the league’s Coach-of-the-Year. First-year guard Andrew Galow of Rhodes College and sophomore guard Jasen Jonus of Birmingham-Southern College split the vote to share the league’s Newcomer-of-the-Year award while junior center Alex Lloyd of Centre College was named the SCAC Defensive Player-of-the-Year. Complete Release
Alade is the heart and soul of an Austin College squad that
matched a school record with 19 wins and earned the top seed in the
SCAC West this season. During the regular season, Alade ranked in
the top 10 in the league in scoring (15.6 points per game –
fourth), steals (1.7 per game – fifth), field goal percentage
(49.3% - third) and free-throw percentage (73.5% - seventh). A
three-time all-SCAC performer, Alade is the league’s career
scoring leader among active players with 1,356 points – which
ranks sixth all-time in Austin College history.
A three-time SCAC Player-of-the-Week selection over his career, Alade is the first male student-athlete at Austin College – which joined the conference in 2006 – to earn Player-of-the-Year honors in any sport.
Wecker, in his third season with Austin College, has led the ‘Roos to a 19-6 overall mark, a 12-4 conference record, and the No. 1 seed from the SCAC Western Division in this year’s conference tournament. Since Wecker took over the Austin College program in 2007-08, the program has been on a steady climb. After posting a 9-17 mark his first season, the ‘Roos posted a 13-13 mark in 2008-09 and this year’s squad has already equaled the school record for single-season wins with 19.
In very tight balloting, Wecker received four votes for Coach-of-the-Year followed by Pat Cunningham of Trinity University with three votes. Greg Mason of Centre and Mitch Cole of Birmingham-Southern received two votes each while Bill Fenlon of DePauw University received the remaining vote.
Galow was the only first-year player in the conference to average double digit points (10.2 points per game), and also added 3.2 assists (eighth in the SCAC) and 3.4 rebounds per game. He is second in the SCAC in free-throw percentage (86.6 percent) and also in the top five in minutes played, the only freshman ranked in top five. Galow led the Lynx in scoring on five separate occasions.
Jonus was one of the SCAC's best three-point shooters all season – finishing third in the league in three-point field goal percentage (41.0 percent) and fourth in three-pointers made per game (2.7). He was Birmingham-Southern’s second-leading scorer at 11.5 points per contest. Jonus, who played the final eight games of the season with a torn PCL ligament, posted his numbers while playing only 18.9 minutes per game.
Galow and Jonus garnered four votes each to share the Newcomer-of-the-Year award. Galow is the third Rhodes player to earn the honor – after Stephen Russell and Rami Almefty won back-to-back Newcomer-of-the-Year awards in 2001-2002 and 2002-2003. The award is a first for a Birmingham-Southern College student-athlete.
Among other vote-getters, Josh Crawford of Centre picked up three votes and Quinn Lemieux of Millsaps College received the remaining vote.
Centre’s Lloyd is currently 34th in blocked shots per game (2.0 – second in the SCAC) and 25th in rebounds per game with 9.7 – which leads the SCAC. The Colonels are ranked fourth nationally in scoring defense and sixth in field goal percentage defense nationally and Lloyd plays a big role in those rankings. He was the team’s leading rebounder or tied for the team-high in 16 of Centre's 23 games this season.
Lloyd is the third Centre big man to earn the league’s Defensive Player-of-the-Year honor – following John Patterson (2007-2008) and Coy Zerhusen (2005-2006). The junior picked up eight first-place votes in the process, while Zach Bergstrom of Southwestern University and Spencer Burke of Austin College split the remaining four votes.
As for the other members of the All-SCAC First Team, Alade is joined on the squad by junior forward Luke Caldarera of Trinity, senior forward Danny Noll of Centre, junior forward Todd Ward of Oglethorpe University and junior guard Nick Rose of Colorado College.
Caldarera leads Trinity in scoring and rebounding, and is second in steals and field goal percentage (45.7%). In the SCAC, Caldarera is sixth in both scoring (14.6 ppg) and rebounding (7.7 rpg), and ninth in steals (1.4 spg). He is the only player in the league ranked in the top 10 in all three categories. Last season, Caldarera was a First Team all-SCAC selection, and also earned Second Team all-South District honors from the NABC.
Noll, a D3hoops.com preseason all-America selection and three-time all-SCAC selection, averaged 14.1 points per game – good for eighth in the conference. The SCAC Player-of-the-Week in Week 6, Noll is also fifth in the league in rebounds per game (7.9), eighth in field goal percentage (44.5%) and third in minutes played per game. Noll recorded four games of 20+ points during the 2009-10 regular season and had seven double-doubles. He is currently second among all active players in career scoring with 1,335 points.
Ward, who joined Noll as the league’s second representative on the D3hoops.com preseason all-America team, posted a league-high nine double-doubles during the regular season. The junior averaged 13.5 points (12th in the SCAC) and 8.9 rebounds (second in the SCAC) per game for the Petrels and shot 47.9 percent from the field (fourth in the SCAC). A three-time all-SCAC selection, Ward enters the SCAC Tournament just nine points shy of 1,000 for his career.
Rose led the league in scoring, averaging 21.7 points per game – the fourth-highest single-season average in SCAC history. The junior also led the league in free-throw percentage (87.5 percent) and minutes played and finished seventh in field goal percentage (45.3 percent) and steals (1.6 per game) and eighth in three-point field goals made (47). A three-time SCAC Player-of-the-Week during the regular season, Rose enters next season needing just 27 points to reach the 1,000 points scored milestone.
For the complete release, click here.