UMass Dartmouth sweeps men's basketball season awards

UMass Dartmouth sweeps men's basketball season awards

PROVIDENCE, R.I.-The 10th-ranked UMass Dartmouth men's basketball swept the three major Little East Conference men's basketball regular season awards this afternoon after a vote by the conference's eight head coaches. Senior center Dan Holbrook (Lexington, Mass.) was named the Player of the Year, while freshman swingman Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, Mass.) earned Rookie of the Year recognition. Brian Baptiste was tabbed the Coach of the Year as the Corsairs become the first team in the conference's history to capture all three awards in a single campaign.

Holbrook becomes the seventh student-athlete in UMass Dartmouth history to be named the Little East Conference Player of the Year and first since Stefan Pagios headlined the 1995 all-conference teams. He was also named to the Little East All-Conference first-team, making his second appearance on the all-conferences teams after earning second-team honors in 2005-06. The Lexington, Mass. product led the Little East Conference in total rebounding (10.9 rpg), while ranking second in scoring (16.4 ppg), fourth in field goal percentage (.556), and eighth in assists (2.79 apg). Holbrook posted 13 double-doubles on the campaign, including a pair in the 2008 Little East Conference Championship Tournament. He reached double figures in scoring in 23 of 28 games this season, scoring at least 20 points eight times. Holbrook was honored weekly by the conference office seven times, earning player of the week recognition three times and four honorable mention selections.

The sixth Corsair in the program's history to be named the Little East Conference Rookie of the Year, Stephens was the top voter getter among the freshman class and also earned a spot on the five player all-rookie team. A starter in 24 of the 28 contests, Stephens averaged double digits in the scoring column with 11.2 points per game. On Jan. 29, 2008, the Dorchester, Mass. native netted a season-high 26 points, including a season-best six three-pointers, against in-state rival UMass Boston. Stephens was tabbed the Little East Conference Rookie of the Week four times on the campaign.

Baptiste was selected the Little East Conference Coach of the Year for the sixth time in his career. He led his charges to the Little East Conference regular season championship and into the conference tournament finals. UMass Dartmouth was the last team in Division III men's basketball to lose this season, winning its first 20 games of the campaign. The Corsairs have been ranked in the D3Hoops.com national poll for the past nine listings, rising to No.2 in the Feb. 3, 2008 edition. UMass Dartmouth earned an at-large berth into the 2008 NCAA Tournament, drawing a first round bye and homecourt advantage in the second round.

UMass Dartmouth junior guard Reece Freeman (Cambridge, Mass.), Southern Maine senior forward Jamaal Caterina (Portland, Maine), Rhode Island College junior guard Tirrell Hill (Bronx, N.Y.), Keene State College junior forward Tyler Kathan (Ludlow, Vt.), and Eastern Connecticut State University senior forward Leon Martin (Woodbury, Conn.) join Holbrook as Little East All-Conference, first-team selections.

Second Team
Bobby Bailey
,  Junior, Guard, Rhode Island College
Drew Coppenrath, Senior, Forward, Southern Maine
Kaseem Johnson, Junior, Forward, Rhode Island College
Amigo Paniagua, Senior, Guard, UMass Boston
Jamie Procino, Senior, Forward, Western Connecticut 

All-Defensive
Bobby Bailey
, Junior, Guard, Rhode Island College
Drew Coppenrath, Senior, Forward, Southern Maine
Reece Freeman, Junior, Guard, UMass Dartmouth
Tyshawn Gillespie, Sophomore, Guard, Western Connecticut
Kaseem Johnson, Junior, Forward, Rhode Island College

All-Rookie
Anthony Fortes
, Freshman, Guard, Rhode Island College
Antone Gray, Freshman, Guard, Rhode Island College
Mike Jensen, Freshman, Guard, Western Connecticut
Courtney Simmons, Freshman, Guard, Eastern Connecticut
Brandon Stephens, Freshman, Guard, UMass Dartmouth

                                                                         -jph-