Release courtesy of Bob Shreve, National Coordinator, Edinboro University
ALEX FALK OF WEST LIBERTY NAMED 2013 DAKTRONICS DIVISION II MEN’S BASKETBALL RON LENZ NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
EDINBORO, Pa. – Two days after leading West Liberty to its third straight trip to the Elite Eight, senior Alex Falk has been named the 2013 Daktronics Division II Men’s Basketball Ron Lenz National Player of the Year.
Falk has led the top-ranked Hilltoppers to a 33-1 record. On Tuesday night he keyed an 86-63 win over Indiana(Pa.) in the Atlantic Regional championship game with 20 points. Now West Liberty heads to the Elite Eight for the third straight year after losing in the quarterfinals a year ago and the semifinals in 2011.
A 6’4” guard from Upper Sandusky, OH, Falk was previously named the Daktronics Atlantic Region Player of the Year. In addition, he was named the 2013 West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year, and was selected the WVIAC Tournament MVP for the second year in a row.
Falk has played in a school-record 134 games, leading the Hilltoppers to a 126-8 record during that period. In 2012-13, he is the leading scorer on the nation’s highest-scoring team, averaging 20.8 ppg. He has scored in double figures in 33 of 34 games, and now has 93 games in double figures. He has topped the 20-point plateau 19 times. He has scored 1,957 career points, to rank sixth in school history. He is shooting 49.3 percent from the floor (232 of 471), has made 51 of 142 3-pointers (35.9 pct.), and is shooting 82.1 percent from the floor (192 of 234).
In addition, Falk averages 20.8 rpg., (21st in Div. II) and has 115 assists, second on the team, and a team-high 101 steals. He is one steal shy of the school-record for steals in a season while ranking fifth in Division II, and his 287 career steals ranks second all-time at West Liberty.
The D2SIDA All-America men's basketball team is sponsored by Daktronics, Inc., an acknowledged world leader in scoring, timing and programmable display systems for virtually every sport at every level of competition. The teams are voted on by the members of D2SIDA, NCAA Division II Sports Information Directors Association.
The online nomination and voting processes are powered by Sidearm Sports. Headquartered in Syracuse, NY, Sidearm Sports is the official provider of college athletic websites for over 6000 sports organizations at all levels of competition. To receive more information on how your institution can partner with Sidearm Sports for a customized website solution, visit www.sidearmsports.com.
The Daktronics’ first team features a graduate student and four seniors, and 14 of the 15 players honored as 2013 All-Americans had completed four or five years. In addition, the Elite Eight is well represented with players from five of the eight teams earning Daktronics All-America honors. They include first team member Clayton Vettes of Winona State, second-teamer Jonathan Morse of Metro State, and Western Washington’s John Allen and Alex Hall of Drury on the third team.
There were no repeat selections from the 2012 Daktronics team.
THE FIRST TEAM
Clayton Vette has led Winona State to a 27-7 record finish and a berth in the Elite Eight against Falk and West Liberty. The Warriors defeated Minnesota State-Mankato to win the Central Region crown. The 6’9” center was previously named the Daktronics Central Region Player of the Year and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Player of the Year. He was a first team All-NSIC pick for the second straight year. Vette is averaging 20.7 ppg. (22nd in Div. II) and 7.9 rpg. while shooting 57.5 percent from the floor (249 of 433) and 71.7 percent from the line (172 of 240). The native of Waverly, IA ranks second in the NSIC in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage. He has scored in double figures in 30 contests, with 22 games of 20-or-more points, including four games of 30 points or more. A year ago he was named a Division II Bulletin All-American. Vette ranks sixth in career scoring at Winona State with 1,736 points, and is fifth in career rebounds (729).
Kevin Kotzur of St. Mary’s(TX) is the lone graduate student on the Daktronics All-America team. A 6’8” forward/center, he helped the Rattlers reach the South Central Regional final before falling to Metro State and ending the year with a 23-8 record. He was named both the Daktronics South Central Region Player of the Year and the Heartland Conference Player of the Year. Kotzur averaged 17.7 ppg. and 10.4 rpg, good for tenth in Division II, along with 48 assists, 26 blocked shots and 20 steals. He shot 65.5 percent from the floor (239 of 365), a figure which ranks third in the country, and 64.9 percent from the line (72 of 111). The La Vernia, TX native became the Heartland Conference’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder with 2,004 points and 1,039 career rebounds. He ranks 11th in Division II in rebounding.
Michigan Tech senior Ali Haidar rounds out the first team after leading the Huskies to their finest season since 2003-04. The 6’7” forward helped MTU reach the Midwest Regional semifinals before being eliminated by Drury and ending with a 21-9 record. A native of Windsor, ONT, he averaged 24.8 ppg., third in Division II, and 9.5 rpg., 18th in Division II, while shooting 60.6 percent from the floor (271 of 447) and 74.2 percent from the line (187 of 252), adding 60 assists and 20 blocked shots. He finished his career with 1,940 points, good for fifth all-time. He set numerous records for the Huskies including career rebounds (887) and season scoring (711). Haidar was named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the second straight season. He set four GLIAC and seven school records this season.
THE SECOND TEAM
Garret Kerr of the Univ. of the Sciences holds the distinction of being the only sophomore on the 2012-13 Daktronics All-America Teams. The 6’4” forward was recognized as the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Player of the Year despite the Devils finishing at just 13-13. A native of Moorestown, NJ, he proved to be an iron man, averaging 39.4 minutes per game. He made good use of those minutes, averaging 21.1 ppg., 14th in Division II, and a Division II-high 12.4 rpg., along with 67 assists, 37 steals and 11 blocks. Kerr shot 52.0 percent from the floor, with 25 3-pointers in 51 attempts, along with 78.9 percent from the line. As a freshman he was the CCAC Rookie of the Year, making him the first men’s basketball player in conference history to earn both awards during their career.
Barton’s Gerald Boston led the Bulldogs to the Southeast Regional championship game, where a loss to USC-Aiken ended their season at 23-8. The 6’1” guard was named the Conference Carolinas Player of the Year while averaging 22.1 ppg. (12th in Div. II) and 3.7 rpg. He added 157 assists and 58 steals, ranking among the Division II leaders. The native of Burlington, NC shot 42.7 percent from the floor, made 55 of 131 3-pointers, and led the Carolinas Conference in free throw percentage at 89.6 percent, which is eighth in Division II. He is a four-time all-conference honoree, including first-team honors as a junior and senior. He was named the 2010 Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year. He finished his career with 1,982 points.
Jonathan Morse of Metro State will be appearing in the Elite Eight for the second straight year after defeating St. Mary’s(TX) in the South Regional championship game. The Roadruners will play Franklin Pierce. A 6’8” forward/center, Morse leads a balanced Metro State attack at 14.7 ppg., and is also the top rebounder at 8.6 per game. He is shooting 52.9 percent from the floor and 71.3 percent from the line, with 45 blocked shots and 39 steals. He was named the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Player of the Year and is a three-time All-RMAC first team selection. The native of Boulder, CO ranks sixth at Metro State in career scoring with 1,524 points and is the all-time leading rebounder with 1,007.
Jaime Smith of Alabama-Huntsville also enjoyed a successful campaign, as the Chargers reached the South Region finals before losing to Florida Southern. UAH ended the year at 25-6, with the 6’3” guard earning Daktronics South Region Player of the Year accolades and Gulf South Conference Player of the Year honors. He is also a three-time All-GSC selection. Smith averaged 18.4 ppg. and 2.6 rpg., adding 148 assists and 22 steals. He shot 47.4 percent from the floor and 86.7 percent from the line, along with making 79 of 202 3-pointers. The Birmingham, AL native holds the school record for 3-pointers made. He also departs as the third all-time leading scorer with 1,980 points.
Trevin Parks of Johnson C. Smith rounds out the second team. A 5’11”, he finished second in Division II in scoring at 25.0 ppg. as the Golden Bulls finished with a 16-11 ledger. He added 3.5 rpg. with 110 assists and 36 steals, shooting 46.4 percent from the floor and 83.7 percent from the line. In addition, he made 71 of 171 3-pointers. Hailing from Hickory, NC, Parks was a prolific scorer for Johnson C. Smith, totaling 1,858 points in three seasons after transferring from UNC-Charlotte. He was a three-time All-Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association pick, and a 2011 NABC All-American and CIAA Player of the Year.
THE THIRD TEAM
LIU Post’s Tobin Carberry was named the East Coast Conference Player of the Year as the Pioneers ended the year with an 18-9 record. A 6’3” guard, he averaged 18.6 ppg. and 5.8 rpg, while making 57 of 143 3-pointers. It marked the second season the native of Hamden, CT was a first-team All-ECC pick. He finished his three-year career at LIU Post with 1,244 points after playing one season at Southern Connecticut.
John Allen of Western Washington still has at least one more game to play, as the 6’1” guard has led the Vikings into the Elite Eight. The defending NCAA Division II national champions defeated Seattle Pacific in the West Regional championship game and now face Florida Southern in the quarterfinals. The Brier, WA native averages 17.7 ppg. and 2.4 rpg with 130 assists and 41 steals. He was named the Daktronics West Region Player of the Year and the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year. He has scored over 1,000 career points in his three seasons after transferring from Washington State.
Like Allen, Drury’s Alex Hall is chasing a national championship after defeating Bellarmine in the Midwest Regional final. The Panthers, now 28-4 and the winners of 20-straight games, will face USC-Aiken in their first journey to the Elite Eight. A 6’2” guard, Hall was earlier named to the All-Great Lakes Valley Conference first team for the second time after previously earning second team honors as a freshman and sophomore. He was the GLVC Freshman of the Year, as well. He is averaging 19.4 ppg. and 3.5 rpg with 82 assists, 42 steals and 109 3-pointers in 243 attempts. A native of Springfield, MO, he ranks third in career scoring (2,111 points).
Angelo Sharpless of Elizabeth City St. is a 6’4” guard who averaged 20.5 ppg, 23rd in Division II, and 8.8 rpg. He added 73 assists and 46 steals while shooting 50.7 percent from the floor as the Vikings ended the year at 17-11. Hailing from Plymouth, NC, he was named the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Player of the Year after earning CIAA Rookie of the Year honors in 2010. He was a two-time All-CIAA performer.
Augustana(SD) senior Cameron McCaffrey departs as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,964 points. The 6’1” guard averaged 21.3 ppg in 2012-13, 17th in Division II, leading the Vikings to a 22-9 finish and reaching the Central Region semifinals in the process. A native of Portland, OR, McCaffrey added 148 assists and 30 steals while making 54 of 152 3-pointers and shooting 87.3 percent from the floor. He was named to the All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference first team for the second time, earning the honor as a sophomore and senior.