Western well represented on 2011 Little East Conference All-Star Team

DaQuan Brooks named Player of the Year, Jengodji Gates named Rookie of the Year
and Coach Bob Campbell honored as Top Coach

official release from Jack Holleran - LEC Director of Communications

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA (Mar. 1) —Western Connecticut State University earned three of the five major awards when the 2010-11 All-Little East Men’s Basketball teams were announced by the conference office this afternoon. Junior guard DaQuan Brooks (Atlanta, Ga.) repeated as the Player of the Year, while freshman guard Jengodi Gates (New Haven, Conn.) was chosen as the Rookie of the Year. Bob Campbell was selected as the Coach of the Year by his peers to complete the Colonials’ major honorees. Eastern Connecticut State University junior guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, N.Y.) was named the Defensive Player of the Year, while the University of Massachusetts Boston was tabbed as the Team Sportsmanship recipient. 

The eight Little East men’s basketball coaches select 11 student-athletes on the all-conference teams. The first team is comprised of six members, while the second squad includes five student-athletes. The conference coaches also elect a five-member All-Defensive and All-Rookie team, respectively.

Brooks is just the seventh student-athlete in the history of Little East men’s basketball to defend his top overall player award in back-to-back seasons and first since Plymouth State’s Adam DeChristopher (1998-1999). The junior from Atlanta, Ga. piloted Western Connecticut’s offensive attack to a Little East-best 85.8 points per game. He became the 26th player in Colonial history to reach the 1,000-career point mark in the victory over Southern Maine on Dec. 4, 2010. The two-time All-Little East, first-team pick ranks among the conference leaders in 3-pointers made (3.1 pg) and scoring (22.0 ppg), while ranking second in assists (4.3 apg), free throw percentage (.824), and steals (2.0 spg). Brooks reached double figures in the scoring column in each of his 25 starts, including eclipsing the 20-point barrier 14 times. He netted a season-high 35 points to lift Western Connecticut past Cobleskill State on Nov. 15, 2010. Brooks nearly produced a double-double against Plymouth State, scoring 24 points and handing out a season-high nine assists. He was consistently selected as the conference’s player of the week, earning the award seven of the 12 times it was presented. Brooks also received the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) New England Division III Player of the Week award twice.  
 
Nedwick is making his second appearance as the conference’s top defender, as well as earning his second-straight spot on the All-Little East, first-team. The Irvington, N.Y. product helped the Warriors feature a stifling defensive attack, ranking second in team scoring defense (65.3 ppg), field goal percentage defense (.421), and 3-point field goal defense (.320). Nedwick sat atop the conference circuit in minutes played (34.2), while ranking fifth in steals (1.7 spg). He recorded at least three steals in eight contests, while matching his single-season high of four thefts three times. Nedwick most recently logged four steals against Rhode Island College on Jan. 22. He nearly recorded a double-double against Purchase State, scoring 18 points and pulling in a season-best nine rebounds. Additionally, he is second in the Little East in scoring (17.8 ppg) and seventh in assists (3.2 apg). 

Gates is just the third student-athlete in program history to be honored as the top rookie and first since Brooks in 2009. The New Haven, Conn. product provided a spark off the bench for Western Connecticut, averaging 6.6 points per game in just 8.8 minutes. Gates connected on 43.5 percent from the floor (47-for-108) to reach double figures in scoring eight times on the season. He was consistent from behind the three-point arc (46.9), including knocking down a season-best four treys four times on the campaign. Gates registered a season-high 17 points at Keene State College on Feb. 12. He also pulled in a total of 21 rebounds, seven steals, and six assists during his rookie season.

Campbell is making his third appearance as the top coach in the Little East and first since 2003. He led his Colonials (21-5) squad to the program’s sixth season with at least 20 victories since joining the conference in 1994. Western Connecticut earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time since 2005. The Colonials also received a share of the regular-season championship with an 11-3 mark. Under his direction, Western Connecticut sported the most prolific offense in the conference, leading the Little East in assists (17.6), field goal percentage (.457), free throw percentage (.722), scoring offense (85.8), and three-point percentage (.388), while ranking second in scoring margin (+9). The Colonials boasted a season-high nine-game winning streak between Nov. 23, 2010 and Jan. 11, 2011. Campbell and his charges will take the court at 7 p.m. on March 3, when Western Connecticut hosts Salve Regina in the first round of the national tournament.   

Rhode Island College placed a conference-best two student-athletes on the All-Little East, first-team. The junior tandem of Mike Akinrola (Woonsocket, R.I.) and Mason Choice (Newport, R.I.) represented the Anchormen, while University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, Mass.) and Keene State College’s Ryan Martin (Wayne, Maine) join Brooks and Nedwick on the top team.

The All-Little East, second team is comprised of Eastern Connecticut State University’s Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk, Conn.), Plymouth State University’s Ryan Lambert (Derry, N.H.), Rhode Island College’s Antone Gray (Providence, R.I.), University of Southern Maine’s Otis Smith (Altamonte Springs, Fla.), and Western Connecticut’s Wilburt Jarrett (Hartford, Conn.).

Initially formed in 1986 as a six-team men's and women's basketball conference, the Little East Conference is celebrating its Silver Anniversary during the 2010-2011 academic year. Western Connecticut State University joined the conference in 1993-1994, while Keene State College raised its current membership to eight teams in 1997-1998.

2010-11 Little East Men's Basketball All-Conference Teams

 

First-Team

Mike Akinrola

Junior

Center

Rhode Island College

DaQuan Brooks

Junior

Guard

Western Connecticut

Mason Choice

Junior

Forward

Rhode Island College

Ryan Martin

Sophomore

Guard

Keene State College

Nick Nedwick

Junior

Guard

Eastern Connecticut

Brandon Stephens

Senior

Forward

UMass Dartmouth

 

Second-Team

Antone Gray

Senior

Guard

Rhode Island College

Wilburt Jarrett

Senior

Forward

Western Connecticut

Ryan Lambert

Senior

Guard

Plymouth State

Broderick Sawyer

Senior

Forward

Eastern Connecticut

Otis Smith

Senior

Forward

Southern Maine

 

All-Defensive Team

Devin Chambers

Senior

Guard

Southern Maine

Mason Choice

Junior

Forward

Rhode Island College

Jamie Kohn

Junior

Guard

Eastern Connecticut

Nick Nedwick

Junior

Guard

Eastern Connecticut

Rashad Wright

Sophomore

Center

Keene State College

 

All-Rookie Team

Alex Burt

Freshman

Guard

Plymouth State

Jengodi Gates

Freshman

Guard

Western Connecticut

Russell Payton

Freshman

Guard

Western Connecticut

Emmanuel Tarwoe

Freshman

Guard

UMass Dartmouth

Dontreal Thomas

Freshman

Forward

UMass Boston

 

Player of the Year

DaQuan Brooks

Junior

Guard

Western Connecticut

 

Defensive Player of the Year

Nick Nedwick

Junior

Guard

Eastern Connecticut

 

Rookie of the Year

Jengodi Gates

Freshman

Guard

Western Connecticut

 

Coach of the Year

Bob Campbell, Western Connecticut State University

 

Team Sportsmanship Award

University of Massachusetts Boston