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2010 Little East Men's Basketball All-Conference Teams

2010 Little East Men's Basketball All-Conference Teams

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The Little East Conference announced its annual men’s basketball all-conference teams and end of the season award winners this afternoon after a vote by the conference’s eight coaches. Western Connecticut State University sophomore guard DaQuan Brooks (Danbury, Conn.) was named the player of the year, while Keene State College freshman guard Anthony Mariano (Naugatuck, Conn.) was tabbed as the rookie of the year. Eastern Connecticut State University collected the final three awards as sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, N.Y.) was selected as the defensive player of the year and Bill Geitner was named coach of the year by his peers. The Warriors also took home the inaugural team sportsmanship award.

Brooks is just the second Colonials’ student-athlete to be named the top player in the conference circuit and first since Marvin Evans headlined the 2004 teams. The All-Little East, first-team selection ranks among the Little East leaders in assists (2nd, 4.1 apg), scoring (2nd, 19.6 ppg), free throw percentage (3rd, 81.1), assists-to-turnover ratio (4th, 1.5), three-point field goals made (4th, 2.0), and steals (9th, 1.5 spg). A prolific scorer, Brooks reached double figures in the scoring column in 23 of his 25 games this season, including scoring at least 20 points 12 times. On Feb. 13, he matched his season-best with 13 made field goals to score a career-high 40 points against Keene State College. Brooks directed the Little East’s third highest scoring offense (81.8 ppg) by surpassing the century mark in assists (106). The 2009 Rookie of the Year was honored as the conferences’ player of the week for Feb. 14, while earning honor roll recognition six times.

Nedwick is making his second-straight appearance on the all-conference teams after earning a spot on the all-rookie and defensive squads as a rookie. The 2010 All-Little East first-team selection spearheaded the top-ranked team defense in the conference, allowing opponents to shoot just 42.1 percent from the field. When Eastern Connecticut limited its opponents to 70 or fewer points, the Warriors boasted a 12-1 mark. The Irvington, N.Y. native led all players in the Little East in minutes played (33.3) and ranked second in steals per game (2.1). A starter in all 27 games, Nedwick recorded multiple steals in 15 games—including matching his season-high with five thefts on three separate occasions. He collected a season-high eight rebounds twice on the campaign, most recently against Western Connecticut in the semifinals of the Little East Championship.

Mariano is just the second Owls’ player in program history to earn the top rookie award in the conference and first since Tyler Kathan was honored in 2006. The Naugatuck, Conn. product led all freshmen in scoring (12.3) and rebounding (4.8). A starter in 17 of 26 games, Mariano reached double digits in scoring 16 times on the season, including eclipsing the 20-point mark three times. He scored a career-high 29 points, including matching his season-high with five three-pointers, at Eastern Connecticut on Jan 19. Mariano recorded his first collegiate double-double against the Colonials seven days earlier, netting 22 points and pulling in 11 rebounds. He was selected as the rookie of the week on Feb 22.

Geitner led Eastern Connecticut to the program’s most successful season in terms of victories (18) in the past 17 years, while also setting the program standard for conference wins (9). The Warriors (18-9) opened the 2010 schedule with wins in nine of their first 14 games to mark Eastern Connecticut’s best record heading into the intersession break. Geitner and his charges completed the 14-game conference schedule in the three-way tie for second place with a 9-5 mark. Seeded third in the Little East Championship, the Warriors outscored sixth-seeded Keene State College, 61-37, in the second half to earn the program’s first tournament victory in 10 years. Eastern Connecticut sat atop the team standings in field goal percentage defense (42.1) and rebounding margin (+6), while ranking second in three-point percentage (35.3) and third in scoring defense (71.3 ppg). The Warriors earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Men’s Basketball New England Championship. Geitner is accepting his first coach of the year award.

Joining Brooks and Nedwick on the six-player all-conference first-team is sophomore Mason Choice (Newport, R.I.) and senior guard Jake Grimes (Providence, R.I.) of Rhode Island College, Keene State’s sophomore forward Derek D’Amours (Agawam, Mass.), and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth junior forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, Mass.). The five student-athlete second team is comprised of a pair of Corsairs’ in senior forward Brandon Shelton (Cambridge, Mass.) and sophomore center Lance Greene (Dorchester, Mass.), along with Eastern Connecticut’s senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford, Conn.), Plymouth State’s Mike Chergey (Bow, N.H.), and the Anchormen’s junior point guard Antone Gray (Providence, R.I.).

Initially formed in 1986 as a six-team men's and women's basketball conference, the Little East Conference sponsored its 24th season in 2009-2010. Western Connecticut State University joined the conference in 1993-1994, while Keene State College raised its current membership to eight teams in 1997-1998.

2009-10 Little East Men's Basketball All-Conference Teams

First-Team

DaQuan Brooks Sophomore Guard Western Connecticut
Mason Choice Sophomore Forward Rhode Island College
Derek D'Amours Sophomore Forward Keene State College
Jake Grimes Senior Guard Rhode Island College
Nick Nedwick Sophomore Guard Eastern Connecticut
Brandon Stephens Junior Forward UMass Dartmouth

Second-Team

Mike Chergey Senior Forward Plymouth State
Antone Gray Junior Guard Rhode Island College
Lance Greene Sophomore Center UMass Dartmouth
Edwin Ortiz Senior Guard Eastern Connecticut
Brandon Shelton Senior Forward UMass Dartmouth

All-Defensive Team

Mason Choice Sophomore Forward Rhode Island College
Tyshawn Gillespie Senior Guard Western Connecticut
Lance Greene Sophomore Center UMass Dartmouth
Jake Grimes Senior Guard Rhode Island College
Nick Nedwick Sophomore Guard Eastern Connecticut

All-Rookie Team

Tahrike Carter Freshman Guard Rhode Island College
Anthony Mariano Freshman Guard Keene State College
Michael Mitchell, Jr. Sophomore Guard UMass Boston
Ryan Pelletier Freshman Guard Western Connecticut
Jason White Freshman Guard UMass Boston

Player of the Year

DaQuan Brooks Sophomore Guard Western Connecticut

Defensive Player of the Year

Nick Nedwick Sophomore Guard Eastern Connecticut
Rookie of the Year
Anthony Mariano Freshman Guard Keene State College

Coach of the Year

Bill Geitner, Eastern Connecticut State University

Team Sportsmanship Award

Eastern Connecticut State University