Trinity's Ajayi Named Player of the Year
HADLEY, Mass. – Trinity senior Shay Ajayi (Brooklyn, N.Y.) has been voted by the conference coaches as the 2016 NESCAC Player of the Year. The forward helped the NCAA Tournament-bound Bantams earn the top seed in the NESCAC Championship in back-to-back seasons to become the third player in Trinity history to collect the award, joining Colin Tabb (2002) and Tyler Rhoten (2006). Ajayi’s name can be found among the conference leaders in several statistical categories. In addition to averaging 14.0 points per game, he filled up the stat sheet ranking third in the league in steals per game (1.6), sixth in rebounds (7.3), and ninth in blocks (1.0).
- Trinity and Tufts each had players selected to the All-NESCAC First and Second Teams. Other institutions represented on the all-conference teams included Amherst, Bowdoin, Colby, Middlebury, Wesleyan and Williams.
- Six players on the All-NESCAC teams are first-time all-conference honorees.
- Senior Lucas Hausman of Bowdoin landed on the First Team for the second consecutive season. The 2015 NESCAC Player of the Year is the only player in the conference to average more than 20 points per game, pouring in 25.3 points per contest to set a new program single-season record. Hausman, who finished the season with 581 points, was held to single-digits in just one game and recorded 30 or more points in seven games. One of the best free-throw shooters in the league, Hausman converted 88.0 percent of his attempts to finish with 162, which is 37 more than second place.
- Tufts junior Tom Palleschi was elevated to the First Team after being named to the Second Team last season. The 2013 NESCAC Rookie of the Year led the league with 93 blocks, while ranking second in rebounds at 224 and chipping in 14.6 points per game to help the Jumbos make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2006.
- Guard Daniel Aronowitz did it all for Williams this season to collect all-conference recognition for the first time in his career. The junior is the only NESCAC player to rank in the top five in scoring and rebounding after ranking third in scoring (18.2) and fifth in rebounding (7.4). Aronowitz is also among the top long-range shooters in the conference, converting 40.7 percent of his three-point attempts. He scored 20 or more points in ten games this season.
- Middlebury junior Matt St. Amour garnered All-NESCAC First Team plaudits following his efforts at both ends of the floor. The guard is second among all conference players with 521 points, scoring at least 20 points in 14 games, and paces the league with 49 steals. He was also one of the league’s most efficient shooters, shooting 40.2 percent from behind the arc and 82.2 percent from the free throw line.
- Ed Ogundeko of Trinity has been voted the NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year. The junior center paces the league with 276 rebounds and is fourth among conference players with 39 blocks. Ogundeko provided a presence in the lane for the Bantams, who held opponents to a conference-low 38.5 percent shooting from the floor and rank second allowing 67.3 points per game. The Second Team All-NESCAC pick joins Aaron Westbrooks (2008) as the only Trinity players to earn the distinction.
- Bowdoin rookie Jack Simonds became the first player in program history to garner NESCAC Rookie of the Year accolades. The forward made an immediate impact in the league, scoring 20 points or more in eight games, including four of the last five contests. Simonds ranks sixth in the league in scoring at 16.3 points per game, and leads the conference in free-throw shooting percentage at 89.7 percent.
- Middlebury’s Jeff Brown has been selected NESCAC Coach of the Year by his peers for the fourth time in his 19-year tenure. After starting the season with a 3-5 record, Brown guided the Panthers to a 6-4 league record and the No. 4 seed in the NESCAC Championship one year after failing to qualify for the tournament. Middlebury then went on to win its third NESCAC title and earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament with a 17-10 overall mark. This marks the fourth time he has received the award, having previously won in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
Men's Basketball All-Conference Teams