February 28, 2012

2011-12 All-Little East Men's Basketball Teams Announced

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Western Connecticut State University senior guard DaQuan Brooks (Atlanta, Ga.) became the most decorated men's basketball player in Little East Conference history this afternoon, when the conference office announced its 2011-2012 major award winners and All-Little East teams. Brooks is the first student-athlete to be selected as the Player of the Year in three successive seasons. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth senior center Lance Greene (Dorchester, Mass.) was named the Defensive Player of the Year, while University of Massachusetts Boston freshman guard Vinny DeLucia (Miami, Fla.) was chosen as the Rookie of the Year. Eastern Connecticut State University boss Bill Geitner was tabbed as the Coach of the Year by his peers, while the Warriors also earned the Team Sportsmanship Award.

In addition to the major awards program, the eight Little East men's basketball coaches honored 11 student-athletes on its all-conference teams. The All-Little East teams are comprised of six members on the top team, and five student-athletes represented on the second squad. The coaches also elected five-member All-Defensive and All-Rookie teams.

Brooks is just the first men's basketball player to earn the prestigious top player award in three consecutive seasons, surpassing seven former student-athletes that were honored twice in their careers. The senior from Atlanta, Ga. was also named the 2009 Little East Rookie of the Year. Brooks became the first men's basketball player in Colonial history to eclipse the 2,000-career point mark this season (2,195), achieving the milestone against Connecticut College on Jan. 31, 2012. The three-time All-Little East, first-team selection is currently the Western Connecticut all-time leader in assists (458), while ranking second in 3-point field goals made (271) and fourth in steals (181). Brooks also established a new standard for single-season points with 700 this season, while ranking third in assists (157).

A starter in each of his 26 appearances, Brooks is currently third in the nation in scoring (28.0 points per game) and eighth in 3-point field goals per game (3.4). He reached double digits in the scoring column in each of his 26 games, including registering at least 30 points 12 times. A prolific scorer, Brooks averaged 28.2 points per game against conference opponents, including a season-high 48 points against Eastern Connecticut on Feb. 7, 2012. He recorded a pair of double-doubles on the campaign, most recently against then-No. 23 Rhode Island College in the semifinal round of the Little East Championship by producing 41 points and 12 rebounds. Brooks handed out a season-high 15 helpers against Plymouth State in Western Connecticut's regular-season finale. He was named to the D3Hoops.com National Team of the Week twice on the season, while earning Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Player of the Week honors three times.

Greene is the first men's basketball player in Corsair history to be bestowed with the conference's top defensive player award since the Little East began sponsoring the trophy in 2008-09. The senior center from Dorchester, Mass. is making his debut on the All-Little East, first-team after earning second squad accolades as a sophomore. Greene is also making his second appearance on the all-defensive team. He is ranked among the national leaders in double-doubles (8th, 17), and rebounds per game (16th, 10.8). Greene anchored the conference's third-ranked scoring defense in the circuit, allowing just 71.7 points per game. He is currently atop the Little East leader board in rebounding, while ranking second in scoring (18.4 ppg) and third in blocked shots (1.5 bpg). Greene sported a double-double against Little East opponents, averaging 18 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. A starter in 25 of his 26 games, he pulled in at least 10 rebounds 17 times on the campaign, including matching his season-high with 16 boards on three separate occasions. A force in the low blocks, Greene redirected 39 of his opponents' attempts from the floor, including a season-best six at Plymouth State on Dec. 10, 2011. He was tabbed as the Little East's top player of the week twice during the 2011-12 season.

DeLucia is the seventh player in Beacon history to garner the conference's top rookie award and first since Amigo Paniagua was recognized in 2005. The freshman guard from Miami, Fla. also reserved his spot on the Little East All-Rookie Team as the highest vote getter among first-years. DeLucia led the conference circuit in 3-point field goal percentage (47.5 percent), while pacing all freshmen in scoring and 12th overall with 11.6 points per game. He also ranked among the leaders in 3-point field goals made (4th, 1.9), assists (7th, 3.2), and steals (9th, 1.5). A starter in each of his 25 appearances, DeLucia reached double figures in scoring 12 times, including four consecutive games to close out his rookie campaign. He was named to the five-member D3Hoops.com National Team of the Week after averaging 26.5 points per game against Little East opponents Southern Maine and Plymouth State. DeLucia poured in a season-best 29 points at Southern Maine on Feb 7, 2012. He dished out a season-high seven assists against Eastern (Pa.) on Dec. 29, 2011, while pulling in a season-best seven rebounds against Plymouth State on Jan. 10, 2012. DeLucia was chosen as the conference's top rookie of the week three times on the campaign.

Geitner is making his second appearance in the past three years as the Little East's top coach, and the sixth time in program history an Eastern men's coach has been honored. The Warriors also earned the Team Sportsmanship Award for the second time in the past three years. Geitner guided Eastern Connecticut to an overall record of 22-5, marking the program's third-consecutive 20-win season. The Warriors captured the program's first Little East regular-season title with an 11-3 mark, and earned the right to host the semifinals and finals of the conference tournament at the Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium. Eastern Connecticut protected its home court advantage throughout the tournament, defeating Keene State in a dramatic double-overtime thriller and ousting two-time defending champion Rhode Island College in the finals. Geitner and his squad captured the program's first Little East tournament title in 12 years and third overall with the victory over the Anchormen. The Warriors earned the program's fourth appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament.

Formed in 1986, the Little East serves as New England's premier athletic conference for public institutions in NCAA Division III. Featuring 19 championship sports, the Little East sponsors quality competition in every season for our student athletes. Our eight state colleges and universities dedicate themselves to an ongoing fulfillment of the Division III mission of passion, responsibility, sportsmanship, and citizenship.

2011-12 Little East Men's Basketball All-Conference Teams
First Team
Mike Akinrola Senior Center Rhode Island College
DaQuan Brooks Senior Guard Western Connecticut
Mason Choice Senior Forward Rhode Island College
Lance Greene Senior Center UMass Dartmouth
Ryan Martin Junior Guard Keene State College
Nick Nedwick Senior Guard Eastern Connecticut
Second Team
Tahrike Carter Junior Guard Rhode Island College
Jeremy Jackson Senior Forward Southern Maine
Hamilton Levy Senior Forward Eastern Connecticut
Gary Robinson Senior Forward Western Connecticut
Rashad Wright Junior Center Keene State College
All-Defensive Team
Tahrike Carter Junior Guard Rhode Island College
Lance Greene Senior Center UMass Dartmouth
Jeremy Jackson Senior Forward Southern Maine
Jamie Kohn Senior Forward Eastern Connecticut
Nick Nedwick Senior Guard Eastern Connecticut
All-Rookie Team
Luis Bridtter Freshman Forward Western Connecticut
Vinny DeLucia Freshman Guard UMass Boston
Tom Doyle Freshman Guard Keene State College
Carl Joseph Freshman Forward UMass Boston
Alex Rodrigues Freshman Forward UMass Dartmouth
Player of the Year
DaQuan Brooks Senior Guard Western Connecticut
Defensive Player of the Year
Lance Greene Senior Center  UMass Dartmouth
Rookie of the Year
Vinny DeLucia Freshman Guard UMass Boston
Coach of the Year
Bill Geitner, Eastern Connecticut State University
Team Sportsmanship Award
Eastern Connecticut State University