Junior college transfer helps Danes fill vacancy at guard
ALBANY University at Albany men’s basketball coach Will Brown has replaced one dynamic guard with another.
Brown announced Tuesday that DJ Evans, a transfer from East Mississippi Junior College, will join the Great Danes for the fall of 2012.
Also joining the team are transfers Gary Johnson (Oxnard Junior College) and Dave Wiegmann (Southwestern Illinois Junior College) and walk-on freshman Scott Bruxvoort (Prairie City Monroe, Iowa, High School).
Evans, a 5-foot-9, 165-pounder, is expected to fill the gap left by the departure of Gerardo Suero, who announced in April that he was going to turn pro after spending one season with the Danes.
Evans, a point guard, averaged 15.6 points, 4.4 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game last year at East Mississippi, and was named a National Junior College Athletic Association Division I second-team All-American. In his two years at East Mississippi, he led the team to a 48-11 record and two consecutive trips to the NJCAA Division I nationals.
“DJ was one of the best junior-college point guards in the country this past season,” said Brown. “He is very quick, and does a great job of pushing the ball in transition and getting into the lane. He is also a pest on defense.”
Johnson, a 6-6 wing player, was Oxnard’s leading scorer (17.3 ppg) last season and also pulled down 6.7 rebounds per game.
The 6-8 Weigmann was the leading scorer and rebounder for Southwestern Illinois. and, according to Brown, “is a skilled four-man who shoots the ball well from the perimeter.”
Bruxvoort, a 6-5, 210-pounder, scored 1,782 points during his career at Prairie City Monroe, and averaged 22.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game during his senior year.
“Scott is an explosive player who will be making the transition to the perimeter on a fulltime basis at the D1 level,” said Brown.
Schenectady High School graduate Brittany Baker was named the female Athlete of the Year, and Reece Jackson was the co-recipient of the men’s top honor at Schenectady County Community College.
Jackson shared the men’s award with Shaker High School graduate Mike Nowak.
Baker, a first-year student, was the starting point guard for the Royals’ women’s basketball team, and averaged 22 points per game. She also had 85 steals and 60 assists, and was a first-team All-Mountain Valley Conference selection.
“She is not only a leader on the court, but she is a motivator and leader for her teammates off the court, as well,” said SCCC women’s coach Dayna Torino.
Jackson, also a first-year player, finished the season averaging a double-doouble of 18 points and 12 rebounds per game. He plans to transfer to a four-year college in the fall.
“His positive approach to the team and the game of basketball brought so much insight to our program,” said Royals coach Allah Atkins. “He has truly been one of the best players to join our program.”
Nowak, a second-year student, was a starting pitcher for the Royals, finishing with a 10-5 record. In his two seasons at SCCC, he threw 86 innings, with 86 strikeouts and 40 walks, as well as a 3.60 earned run average.
“He was a coach’s dream and will be sorely missed as he now goes on to the next level,” said SCCC coach Tim Andi.
Five in all-star game
Three players from Union College and two from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will be taking part in Friday’s USILA North-South Senior all-star lacrosse game at Harvard Stadium.
Representing Union will be goalie Sean Aaron, midfielder Ethan Meyer and defender Robert Sullivan, while RPI sends defender Tyler Hutchinson and midfielder Andrew Liptak.
Aaron, a two-time USILA All-American, was seventh in NCAA Division III with a .650 save percentage and was 13th in the nation with a 6.49 goals-against average as he compiled a 13-5 record and helped the Dutchmen reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III tournament.
Meyer finished the season with 18 goals and 15 assists, and Sullivan anchored a defense that held opponents to under 10 goals in every game but one this season.
Hutchison helped the Engineers limit opponents to 6.13 goals per game in the Liberty League, and was third on the team with 37 ground balls.
Liptak finished his career at RPI with 30 goals and 16 assists.
Union College hockey goalie Troy Grosenick has earned Capital One/CoSIDA academic all-district at-large first-team honors.
Grosenick, a sophomore, had the Dutchmen’s highest grade-point average (3.83) and was a finalist for the ECAC Hockey Student/Athlete of the Year award.
In his first season as Union’s starting goaltender, Grosenick finished second in the nation with a 1.65 goals-against average and tied the school’s single-season record with five shutouts. He was the Ken Dryden Award as the league’s top goalie, and was one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker award.