From the America East Conference
Men’s #AEHoops Awards
BOSTON – For the eighth time in conference history, there is a repeat #AEHoops Player of the Year. Vermont’s Trae Bell-Haynes earned the honor for the second-straight season to highlight the conference’s 2017-18 men’s basketball annual award winners. All of the conference’s 2017-18 major awards were announced Thursday afternoon along with the All-Conference, All-Defensive, All-Rookie and All-Academic teams. Award winners were nominated by their own coaches and voted on by the conference’s head coaches, who could not vote for their own team.
Trae Bell-Haynes led the selections as the Kevin Roberson Player of the Year. Teammate Cam Ward was the Sixth Man of the Year for the second time, while UMBC’s K.J. Maura was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year and Stony Brook’s Elijah Olaniyi earned Rookie of the Year accolades. Hartford’s John Gallagher and Vermont’s John Becker shared Coach of the Year honors after splitting the vote.
Kevin Roberson Player of the Year
Trae Bell-Haynes, Sr., Guard, Vermont
- Eighth player to win America East Player of the Year honors multiple times (Marqus Blakely, Speedy Claxton, Taylor Coppenrath, Reggie Lewis, Malik Rose, Jameel Warney, Jamar Wilson).
- Seventh time a Catamount has earned the honor.
- The senior guard is fourth in the league in assists (3.9 apg), fifth in field goal percentage and tops amongst guards (.515) and eighth in scoring (14.9 ppg).
- Averaged 16.6 ppg in conference play.
- Also a first-team All-Conference choice for the second-straight year.
Rookie of the Year
Elijah Olaniyi, Fr., Forward, Stony Brook
- Joins Jameel Warney as the only Seawolf to earn Rookie of the Year honors.
- Was a four-team America East Rookie of the Week selection.
- Was the league’s top freshman scorer and rebounder this season.
- Also an All-Rookie choice.
Defensive Player of the Year
K.J. Maura, Sr., Guard, UMBC
- First Retriever to earn Defensive Player of the Year recognition.
- Ranks second in the conference with 2.0 steals per game and increased that average to a league-best 2.3 spg in conference play.
- Was also named an All-Defensive selection for the second-straight year as well as a third-team All-Conference honoree.
Sixth Man of the Year
Cam Ward, Sr., Guard, Vermont
- Named Sixth Man of the Year for the second time in his career (2014-15).
- Third time a Catamount has earned the award in its six-year existence.
- Key contributor playing 15 minutes per game off the bench for the 25-win Catamounts.
Co-Coach of the Year
John Becker, Vermont – 7th Season
- Third time in his seven seasons he’s been named Coach of the Year.
- Fifth man to be named Coach of the Year three times (Tom Brennan, Bill Herrion, Steve Pikiell, Dennis Wolff).
- Led Vermont to its second-straight America East regular-season title and third in five years.
- Compiled a 25-6 overall record and a 15-1 mark in conference play.
Co-Coach of the Year
John Gallagher, Hartford – 8th Season
- Named Coach of the Year for the first time.
- Joins Larry Harrison as the only Hartford coach to earn the honor.
- Led Hartford to 18 victories this season, tying its program record, and a third-place finish after being picked 8th in the league’s preseason poll.
- Paced Hawks to an 11-5 conference mark and a .688 winning percentage, their best all-time.
Eight seniors, six juniors and one sophomore comprised the All-Conference teams. The top four teams in the standings garnered 11 of the 15 honors with Vermont earning four, Hartford three and UMBC and Albany each with two.
2017-18 America East Men’s Basketball Awards
*Trae Bell-Haynes, Sr., G, Vermont
Joe Cremo, Jr., G, Albany
*Tanner Leissner, Sr., F, New Hampshire
Jairus Lyles, Sr., G, UMBC
*Jahad Thomas, Sr., F, UMass Lowell
John Carroll, Jr., F, Hartford
Travis Charles, Sr., F, Albany
Ernie Duncan, Jr., G, Vermont
Drew Urquhart, Sr., F, Vermont
Akwasi Yeboah, So., F, Stony Brook
Aaron Calixte, Jr., G, Maine
Jason Dunne, Jr., G, Hartford
*Payton Henson, Sr., F, Vermont
J.R. Lynch, Jr., G, Hartford
K.J. Maura, Sr., G, UMBC
Hassan Attia, Sr., C, Hartford
Thomas Bruce, Jr., F, Binghamton
*Devonte Campbell, Jr., F, Albany
Ernie Duncan, Jr., G, Vermont
*K.J. Maura, Sr., G, UMBC
Daniel Akin, Fr., F, UMBC
Josh Hopkins, Fr., G, New Hampshire
Obadiah Noel, Fr., G, UMass Lowell
Elijah Olaniyi, Fr., F, Stony Brook
Stef Smith, Fr., G, Vermont
*Joe Cremo, Jr., 3.36 GPA, Communications, Albany
Tanner Leissner, Sr., 3.35 GPA, Kinesiology, New Hampshire
*David Nichols, Jr., 3.91 GPA, Communications, Albany
*Joe Sherburne, Jr., 4.0 GPA, Financial Economic, UMBC
J.C. Show, Jr., 3.88 GPA, Human Development, Binghamton
* Repeat Selection
The majority of the honorees will be in action Saturday when the 2018 #AEPlayoffs get underway. Complete tournament information can be found at Playoffs Central.
About America East: The America East provides its member schools and their athletic programs a platform upon which student-athletes can achieve both collegiate and life success through the promotion and nurturing of athletic excellence, academic achievement and leadership, on and off the field.
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