March 2, 2015
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Lehigh took two top individual honors as sophomore forward/center Tim Kempton was named Player of the Year and freshman guard Kahron Ross earned Rookie of the Year recognition when the Men's Basketball All-Patriot League Team and major awards were announced on Monday.
Kempton earns the Player of the Year award after receiving the Rookie of the Year honor last season, with Ross giving the Mountain Hawks consecutive wins in that category. The top two teams in the League standings were represented in the other major awards as Colgate senior guard Luke Roh was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and Bucknell's Dave Paulsen took home his third Patriot League Coach of the Year honor in the last five seasons.
The evenly distributed All-Patriot League Team and All-Rookie squad featured representation from all 10 schools, with no team placing more than three student-athletes on the lists. The first-team All-Patriot League honors went to seniors Damon Sherman-Newsome (Colgate), Worth Smith (Navy) and Dan Trist (Lafayette), junior Chris Hass (Bucknell) and Kempton. The second-team All-Patriot League list included seniors Pee Wee Gardner (American), Ethan Jacobs (Colgate) and Malcolm Miller (Holy Cross), junior Tanner Plomb (Army) and sophomore Cedric Hankerson (Boston University). Lafayette had a pair of third-team All-Patriot League honorees in senior Seth Hinrichs and sophomore Nick Lindner, while the rest of the squad included juniors Jesse Reed (American) and Kyle Wilson (Army) as well as Ross, who became the first freshman to earn All-Patriot League honors since current NBA players C.J. McCollum (Lehigh) and Mike Muscala (Bucknell) did it in 2010. Ross also headlined the All-Rookie squad along with Boston University's Cheddi Mosely, Bucknell's Nana Foulland and Loyola University Maryland's Andre Walker and Cam Gregory.
Patriot League men's basketball head coaches voted on the All-League Team and major awards, and could not vote for their own student-athletes or themselves.
Kempton had a dominant year in the post for the Mountain Hawks, leading the Patriot League and ranking in the top 25 nationally with 13 double-doubles. He put up 15.1 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per contest for the season, and was even better in League action with 16.6 ppg and 8.7 rpg. Kempton stands sixth in scoring for the season and third among all players in Patriot League games, and led the League in rebounding in both overall contests and League action while standing in the top 50 in the country for the season. Kempton had five 20-point outings during Patriot League play, and seven of his double-doubles were posted in Patriot League contests. He is shooting 48.5% from the field for the season, and bumped the number up to 50.9% in Patriot League games.
Kempton enters rare air by winning the Player of the Year award as a sophomore, joining a group that includes Colgate's Adonal Foyle (1996), Holy Cross' Tim Szatko (2001) and Bucknell's Mike Muscala (2011). He joins Foyle and Szatko in earning the Player of the Year award as a sophomore after winning the Rookie of the Year honor the previous season, and is the fourth to earn both honors in his first two seasons as McCollum was named both Player and Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 2010. Kempton is Lehigh's first Player of the Year since McCollum claimed his second award in 2012, and the third honoree in school history as Austen Rowland also won the award in 2004.
Ross established himself as not only one of the top point guards in the Patriot League, but one of the best freshmen playing the position in the nation. He leads the Patriot League and all Division I freshmen while ranking 20th in the nation with 5.8 assists per game for the year. Ross added 10.4 points per game to finish 20th in the Patriot League and tie for the lead among freshmen, and was even better in League play with 11.4 points to go with 5.8 assists per game. Ross had five games with 10 assists or more, with four coming in Patriot League action and a season-high and Patriot League-best 14 in an 84-81 triple overtime win at Arizona State on Dec. 20. Ross posted double-doubles in four of those double-figure assist outings, and was the only player in the Patriot League to record a points-assist double-double this year. Ross gives Lehigh consecutive Patriot League Rookie of the Year awards after Kempton won the honor last season, and is the school's fifth recipient of the award in the past nine seasons. He also becomes the first freshman on the All-Patriot League squad since McCollum was on the first team and Muscala made the second team in 2010.
Roh played a key role in the success of the Raiders as the versatile senior averaged 9.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists for the season with 11.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists during Patriot League action. He was a key defender on a veteran team filled with offensive threats, and helped Colgate finish third in Patriot League action with 63.9 points allowed per game and fourth in field-goal percentage defense at 43.9%. The Raiders were also third with 30.8 defensive rebounds per game in League action, with Roh finishing 10th in rebounding in League games and sixth for the season. He also did the job on the offensive end by placing in the top three in both overall and Patriot League games in field-goal percentage, shooting 59.3% from the floor for the year. Roh becomes Colgate's first Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year honoree, and is the first major award recipient for the school since Mark Linebaugh was named Rookie of the Year in 2001.
Paulsen continues to achieve unprecedented success at Bucknell as he led the Bison to the outright regular-season title and top seed in the Patriot League Tournament for the fourth time in five seasons. No other school has won the outright regular-season title more than three times overall as Bucknell has now won six solo regular-season titles and been the top seed in the League Tournament six times. The Bison won their ninth overall regular-season title, four more than any other school. Paulsen did it with a young team as a junior, sophomore and three freshmen are the top five scorers for the Bison, and the squad had great balance with seven players scoring 4.8 points per game or more for the year. In a year of parity in the League standings, Bucknell swept five Patriot League opponents and went on a pair of five-game winning streaks while putting together a 13-5 mark in League action to go with an 18-13 overall record.
Paulsen has a 74-32 Patriot League record in his seven seasons at Bucknell, placing him third all-time with a .698 winning percentage in League action. The Bison have posted a 70-22 League mark in the last six seasons, finishing in the top-four in the standings each time and the top-two in five of the six years. Paulsen becomes the fourth three-time winner of the Patriot League Coach of the Year award, and does it in the shortest span in his first seven seasons on the job. Bucknell now has seven Patriot League Coach of the Year awards, three more than any other school.
The first-team All-Patriot League squad features five players who led their team in scoring and were among the best in the League. Trist led the way with 18.4 points per game in League action and 17.7 for the season, and joined Kempton as a unanimous first-team selection in the voting. Hass was the top scorer for the first-place Bison with 15.4 points per game for the year and 14.3 in League play, while Sherman-Newsome led the Raiders to a second-place finish with 15.4 points per game in League action and 14.8 for the season. Smith missed most of the non-League campaign with an injury, but excelled in Patriot League games with 15.6 points per contest.
Like the first team, five different schools were represented on the second-team All-Patriot League squad. Jacobs gave Colgate a second player on the top two teams as he averaged 13.8 points per game in League play and 12.6 for the season. Two of the top scorers for the season are on the second team as Hankerson averaged 15.9 points and Plomb put up 15.7 per game for the year while placing second with 16.9 per game in League action. Miller averaged 13.9 points per game and placed second with 1.5 blocks per contest for the season, while Gardner averaged 10.3 points and led the Patriot League with 2.0 steals per game.
Hinrichs averaged 13.1 points per game while Linder put up 11.6 per contest and 5.4 assists per game to make the third-team All-League squad for the Leopards. Wilson placed second in the Patriot League with 17.7 points per game for the year, while Reed was eighth with 14.1 per contest.
Hinrichs made the All-Patriot League squad for the third consecutive season, with a second straight third-team selection after a second-team honor in 2013. Hass, Gardner, Miller, Wilson and Reed each made the list for the second straight year.
On the All-Rookie squad, Foulland averaged 10.0 points and 5.4 rebounds for the year, and was a big part of Bucknell's run to the Patriot League regular-season title as he bumped the numbers up to 11.9 points per game and 5.9 rebounds per contest in League action. Mosely averaged 10.1 points per game in League play, while Walker posted 10.8 points per contest in League action and 10.4 for the season and Gregory was third in the Patriot League with 7.0 rebounds per game for the year while averaging the same amount of points per contest.
The 2015 Patriot League Men's Basketball Tournament begins on Tuesday with a pair of first-round games as #10 seed Army visits #7 Navy and #9 Loyola goes to #8 Holy Cross, both at 7 p.m. The quarterfinals are on Thursday as the Loyola/Holy Cross winner heads to top-seed Bucknell and #5 Boston University visits #4 Lafayette on one side of the bracket, while the Army/Navy winner visits #2 seed Colgate and #6 American goes to #3 Lehigh on other side with each game tipping off at 7 p.m. All of the first-round and quarterfinal contests will be shown on Patriot League Network.
The quarterfinal winners on each side of the bracket will meet at the site of the higher seed for the semifinals on March 8, which will be shown at 2 and 4 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. The Patriot League Men's Basketball Championship will be played at the higher seed on March 11 at 7:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. The champion receives the Patriot League's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
2014-15 Men's Basketball All-Patriot League Team and Major Awards
Player of the Year: Tim Kempton, Lehigh (So., F/C)
Defensive Player of the Year: Luke Roh, Colgate (Sr., G)
Rookie of the Year: Kahron Ross, Lehigh (Fr., G)
Coach of the Year: Dave Paulsen, Bucknell
First-Team All-Patriot League
Chris Hass, Bucknell (Jr., G)
Tim Kempton, Lehigh (So., F/C)*
Damon Sherman-Newsome, Colgate (Sr., G)
Worth Smith, Navy (Sr., F)
Dan Trist, Lafayette (Sr., F)*
*Unanimous first-team choice
Second-Team All-Patriot League
Pee Wee Gardner, American (Sr., G)
Cedric Hankerson, Boston University (So., G)
Ethan Jacobs, Colgate (Sr., C)
Malcolm Miller, Holy Cross (Sr., F)
Tanner Plomb, Army (Jr., F)
Third-Team All-Patriot League
Seth Hinrichs, Lafayette (Sr., F)
Nick Lindner, Lafayette (So., G)
Jesse Reed, American (Jr., G)
Kahron Ross, Lehigh (Fr., G)
Kyle Wilson, Army (Jr., G/F)
Nana Foulland, Bucknell (Fr., C)
Cam Gregory, Loyola Maryland (Fr., F)
Cheddi Mosely, Boston University (Fr., G)
Kahron Ross, Lehigh (Fr., G)
Andre Walker, Loyola Maryland (Fr., G)