official release from Adam Sopris - LEC Assistant Commissioner
PAWTUCKET, R.I. – The Little East Conference has announced the 2016-17 men's basketball major awards and all-conference selections, as voted on by the LEC head coaches. The Eastern Connecticut State Warriors completed the sweep by earning all four of the Little East Conference major awards to become the first institution since 2000 (Southern Maine) to win all of the major awards in a single season.
The Warriors senior Hugh Lindo (Enfield, Conn.) was named the 2017 Little East Conference Player of the Year and the 2017 Little East Conference Defensive Player of the Year to become the first student-athlete to win both awards since 2013 when Rhode Island College's Tahrike Carter too both honors. Lindo is now a two-time LEC Defensive Player of the Year after receiving the honor last season.
Lindo averaged 14.8 points per game overall and averaged 15.7 points per game against LEC opponents. Averaging a double-double on the year, Lindo claimed the Little East rebounding title, grabbing an average of 12.6 boards per game in 31.7 minutes. Lindo helped guide the Warriors to their first Little East Conference championship since 2012. Lindo placed third in the conference with 36 blocks (1.3 per game) and finished inside the top-10 in the LEC with 36 steals. Lindo surpassed the 1,000 career-point mark and the 1,000-career rebound plateau during the Warriors championship season.
Warriors Carlos Gonzalez (Springfield, Conn.) was named the 2017 Little East Conference Rookie of the Year following a tremendous freshman campaign. Gonzalez finished inside the top-20 offensively, averaging 10.3 points per game and placed fourth in the LEC with 44 assists. Gonzalez garnered Little East Conference rookie of the week honors six times, including five straight weeks in January 2017. Gonzalez was instrumental all season for the Warriors success, especially in the LEC championship game when he scored a career-high 30 points to defeat Keene State 72-70.
Eastern Connecticut State's head coach, Bill Geitner was named the 2017 Little East Conference Coach of the Year. Geitner guided the Warriors to their fourth straight regular season title, finishing the year 20-8 (11-3 LEC) and recently advanced to the NCAA Division III postseason by winning the 2017 Little East Conference Championship. The 2017 honor is Coach Geitner's five selection as the league's coach of the year, winning it previously in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015.
Lindo leads a talented pool of Little East All-Conference First-Team selections. Eastern Connecticut State's Tarchee Brown (Rockville, Conn.) was named All-Little East First Team for the third consecutive season after leading the Little East Conference in scoring with 18.6 points per game. A pair of Keene State Owls' Ty Nichols (Springfield, Mass.) and Matt Ozzella (Medway, Mass.) were also named to the All-Little East First Team. Nichols averaged 18.0 points per game for the Owls and Ozzella averaged 14.9 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Plymouth State's Jack Preston (Nashua, N.H.) and UMass Boston's Sam Freeman (Boston, Mass.) round out the All-Little East First Team selections. Preston finished second in the Little East in scoring by averaging 18.1 points per game and led the LEC with a 59.7 field goal percentage. Freeman finished inside the top-5 with his 17.1 scoring average with a 55.0 shooting percentage, good for fourth among all LEC competitors.
The All-Little East Second Team is made up of a pair of Huskies from Southern Maine with Zach Leal (York, ME) and James Starks III (Miami, Fl.) Starks III averaged 17.6 points per game in 2017, good for fourth in the Little East and averaged 11.4 rebounds, placing behind Lindo's 12.6 rebounding average. UMass Dartmouth's Nick Portelance (Fairhaven, Mass.) and Jon Robinson (Chatham, Mass.) also garnered All-LEC Second Team selections. Portelance averaged 11.6 points per game and 8.5 rebounds. Robinson poured in 10.9 points per game and shot 39.8 percent from beyond the arc, good for fourth in the Little East. UMass Boston's Dan Powers (Westwood, Mass.) also earned All-LEC Second Team honors while averaging a double-double with 11.0 rebounds and 11.8 points per game.
The Little East All-Defensive Team is led by the DPOY, Lindo from Eastern Connecticut State. Joining Lindo is Iser Barnes (Boston, Mass.), UMass Boston; Chris Mendes (Somerset, Mass.), UMass Dartmouth; Tre'Von Perry (Waterbury, Conn.), Western Connecticut State and Benjamin Vezele (Providence, R.I.), Rhode Island College. Mendes compiled 57 steals on the year, while Barnes picked the pocket of his opponents 44 times in 2017. Vezele led the Little East with 47 total blocks as the Anchormen's rim protector and Western Connecticut's rim protector, Perry finished second in the LEC with 39 blocks.
The Little East Conference All-Rookie Team is led by the ROY, Gonzalez. Joining Gonzalez with All-Rookie honors are Jaylen Leroy (Manchester, N.H.), Plymouth State; Mert Sert (Istanbul, Turkey), UMass Dartmouth; along with Ty Lee (Boston, Mass.) and Alex Sanchez (Salem, Mass.) from UMass Boston.
The historic competitive success the LEC has achieved throughout the 30 years, beginning as a basketball only conference in 1986 and expanding into today's 19-Championship Sport Conference, will continue to make academic and athletic strides as the LEC continues to be the premier Division III conference of the New England region.
The Little East Conference was formed in 1986 when six public institutions gathered to create a single sport athletic conference and has expanded into what is now New England's premier athletic conference for public institutions in NCAA Division III. The LEC features 19 Championship Sports and sponsors quality competition in every season for our student athletes while following the Division III mission of passion, responsibility, sportsmanship and citizenship.