Husson senior forward Trevon Butler (Waterbury, Conn.) has been selected as the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Men's Basketball Player of the Year, while Colby-Sawyer senior center Peter Donato (Portland, Maine) was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year and Lyndon freshman center Kevin Love* (Bristol, Conn.) earned Rookie of the Year honors. Johnson State senior guard Greg Davis (Philadelphia, Pa.) was voted the Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year, while Badgers head coach Miles Smith was chosen as the Coach of the Year and ten men's basketball student-athletes were named to the Sportsmanship Team to headline the 2016 All-Conference announcement.
NAC All-Conference selections are determined by a vote of the conference coaches.
Butler, a senior from Waterbury, Conn., has had an impactful senior season with the Eagles as they finished the regular season with an overall record of 19-6 and claimed the No. 1 seed in the NAC Tournament. The forward ended the NAC regular season ranked in the top-five in five statistical categories including being third in points per game (21.3), free throw percentage (83.6%) and free throws made (92), fourth in field goals made (128), and he tied for fifth in steals per game (1.7). The 2014 NAC Player of the Year also tallied 7.6 rebounds, 5.6 defensive rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.1 offensive rebounds per game in league competition. Nationally, Butler ranks in the top-53rd in five categories including 29th in field goal attempts (396), 31st in total points (537), 33rd in points per game (21.5), 46th in free throws made (128), and 53rd in field goals made (179). The senior was selected NAC Athlete of the Week twice this season.
Donato, a senior from Portland, Maine, remains one of the Chargers high-impact players and has had an incredible senior season so far. The center finished the NAC regular season as the league leader in field goals made (150), offensive rebounds per game (3.7), and total blocks (25). He also ranked fourth in both points per game (20.9) and free throws made (76) and fifth in both rebounds per game (7.9) and blocks per game (1.4). The 2015 Player and Defensive Player of the Year's overall statistics rank him in the top-50 among all NCAA Division III men's basketball players in six different categories. His 206 field goals currently rank him 19th, while his 185 free throw attempts rank him 25th, his 21.5 points per game rank him 32nd and his 3.67 offensive rebounds per game rank him 33rd. Donato has recorded double-figure scoring in all 24 games he played this season including a season high of 38 points against Johnson State on February 10. He has also recorded seven double-doubles on the season and claimed two NAC Athlete of the Week honors.
Love, a freshman from Bristol, Conn., has made an immediate impact for the Lyndon Hornets during his rookie campaign. The center finished the NAC regular season ranked in the top-three on his team in four statistical categories. In conference play, his 5.6 rebounds, 3.7 defensive rebounds, and 1.9 offensive rebounds per game ranked him second on the Hornets roster, while his 10.1 points per game and 53.8 field goal percentage ranked him third amongst his teammates. The talented newcomer tallied one NAC Rookie of the Week honor this season and he has scored 10 or more points on eight separate occasions this season, including a career-high of 21 twice.
Davis, a Philadelphia, Pa. native, has been selected as the NAC's first men's basketball Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year. He is being recognized for excelling both academically and athletically throughout his undergraduate experience. The Health and Exercise Science major is a leading example of what it means to be a Division III student-athlete by making the most out of his undergraduate experience. In the classroom, Davis has made both the Dean's List and the President's List at Johnson State and was named the Johnson State Academic Student Athlete of the Year in 2015. Davis has been heavily involved on campus and when he is not in the classroom, practicing or studying he works in the admissions department as the Head Tour Guide and a Junior Admissions Counselor. He currently serves as the Johnson Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) President and was a participant at the NCAA Leadership Conference in Providence, R.I. Davis has worked several basketball camps and clinics at Johnson and he has been involved in several community service events including the JSC Special Olympics Basketball Tournament and as a coordinator for the JSC Relay for Life. Impressively, Davis has been a part of four other athletic programs at Johnson including men's cross-country, men's golf, men's soccer, and men's tennis, while serving as the captain in both basketball and tennis.
Smith, who is in his first season at the helm of the Johnson State squad, led his team to its best overall record (10-16) since the 2008-2009 season and improved the team's league record by six wins from last year. Impressively this season, the Badgers earned their highest tournament seed (No. 3), hosted their first home tournament game and earned their first tournament win since joining the NAC. In conference games, Johnson finished the regular season as the leader in steals per game (8.9) and held opponents to a league low 31.9 three-point percentage. The Badgers also ranked third in assists per game (15.6) and field goals made (526), while ranking fourth in field goal percentage (44.2%). Notably, Johnson ended a five-game winning streak for the No. 1 seeded Husson, as the Badgers claimed a 101-95 win on the road against the Eagles on February 6.
Joining Butler and Donato on the All-NAC First Team were Husson junior guard Raheem Anderson (Miramar, Fla.), New England College senior guard Dezron Wilson (Nashua, N.H.), and Thomas senior guard Levi Barnes (Skowhegan, Maine).
Second team selections included Colby-Sawyer senior guard Wol Majong (Manchester, N.H.), Green Mountain senior forward Cameron Anderson (Charlottesville, Va.) and junior guard Thomas Brown (Charlottesville, Va.), and Johnson State senior guards Rahim Bunch (Egg Harbor Township, N.J.) and Asim Khan (Torrance, Calif.).
New to the conference this season is the selection of a Sportsmanship Team which is reserved for those who have distinguished themselves through demonstrated acts of sportsmanship and ethical behavior. The honorees are individuals who have positively affected the men's basketball culture and game environment and whose behavior clearly demonstrates sportsmanship and integrity that go beyond the playing rules and etiquette. The following ten individuals have been selected to the NAC Men's Basketball Sportsmanship Team, Castleton senior Casey McGraw (Delmar, N.Y.), Colby-Sawyer's Majong, UMaine- Farmington senior Logan Nichols (Minot, Maine), Green Mountain sophomore Cameron Gaudette (White River Junction, Vt.), Husson junior Eli Itkin (Pawtucket, R.I.), Johnson State's Davis, Lyndon freshman Gabriel Torres (Woodland, Calif.), Maine Maritime junior Dylan Price (Madison, Maine), New England College junior Ariya Nozary (Hillsboro, N.H.), and Thomas senior Adam Carlsen (Rockport, Maine).
2016 Men's Basketball All-Conference Teams
G - Raheem Anderson, Junior, Husson
G - Levi Barnes, Senior, Thomas
F - Trevon Butler, Senior, Husson
C - Peter Donato, Senior, Colby-Sawyer
G - Dezron Wilson, Senior, New England College
F - Cameron Anderson, Senior, Green Mountain
G - Thomas Brown, Junior, Green Mountain
G - Rahim Bunch, Senior, Johnson State
G - Asim Khan, Senior, Johnson State
G - Wol Majong, Senior, Colby-Sawyer
Player of the Year - Trevon Butler, Senior, Husson
Defensive Player of the Year - Peter Donato, Senior, Colby-Sawyer
Rookie of the Year - Kevin Love, Freshman, Lyndon*
Senior Scholar Athlete of the Year - Greg Davis, Senior, Johnson State
Coach of the Year - Miles Smith, First Season, Johnson State
Adam Carlsen, Senior, Thomas
Greg Davis, Senior, Johnson State
Cameron Gaudette, Sophomore, Green Mountain
Eli Itkin, Junior, Husson
Wol Majong, Senior, Colby-Sawyer
Casey McGraw, Senior, Castleton
Logan Nichols, Senior, UMaine-Farmington
Ariya Nozary, Junior, New England College
Dylan Price, Junior, Maine Maritime
Gabriel Torres, Freshman, Lyndon*
*Award vacated by Lyndon State and the NCAA Committee on Infractions.