ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Albertus Magnus: NCAA edition II

The awards are rolling in for Albertus Magnus.
On Tuesday coach Mitch Oliver was the 2012 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Coach of the Year after leading his team to a 24-1 record during the 2011-12 regular-season.

For Oliver, it is his second GNAC Coach of the Year honor after earning the accolade in 2009-10 when he led his Falcons to their first-ever NCAA Tournament victory.

In five years, Oliver has registered an overall record of 86 wins and 53 losses as he became the all-time winningiest coach in Albertus Magnus men's basketball history.

Also, Ray Askew was tabbed the GNAC Player of the Year.
rtus Magnus senior Ray Askew (Hamden, Conn.) has been named the 2011-12 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year as well as the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year, as announced by the league office. Askew, who became the Falcons' all-time leader in both points and rebounds this season, joins teammate Darius Watson (New Britain, Conn.) on the GNAC All-Conference First Team as well. Additionally, Arshad Jackson (Hartford, Conn.) earned Third Team honors, while Mitch Oliver was named Coach of the Year.

For Askew, this is the second time in his four-year career that he has earned the Player of the Year honor as he was tagged with the accolade after the 2009-10 regular season. This year Askew dominated play in the GNAC as he not only succeeded on the court individually but led his team to a record-breaking season. The senior became the all-time leading rebounder and scorer in Albertus Magnus men's basketball history, while he was just the second player in league history to register over 1,000 rebounds before becoming the all-time leading rebounder in the GNAC.

He has led his program to a school and league record in wins in a single-season, while the Falcons became the only men's basketball team to ever finish the regular season undefeated in GNAC play.

Askew earned GNAC Player of the Week honors four times this season, including recognition from his efforts last week as he was named Most Valuable Player of the GNAC Tournament after averaging 17.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game during postseason play. During the regular season, he was named to the four times, while being named the ECAC DIII New England Player of the Week on three separate occasions.

Currently in his career, Askew has tallied 2,262 points and 1,169 rebounds.

Askew's First Team All-Conference accolade makes him the only Albertus Magnus men's basketball player ever to earn All-GNAC Conference honors all four years of his career. Askew was named to the Second Team as a freshman in 2009 and since has earned a spot on the First Team every season.

Watson, who is averaging 19 points per game this season, was named to the GNAC All-Tournament Team for his efforts last week during the league's postseason play. As a sophomore, his First-Team selection is the first in his career. Last season, Watson was named the GNAC Rookie of the Year but did not earn a spot on an All-Conference squad.

The New Britain, Conn. native was tagged as GNAC Player of the Week once this season, while currently in his career he has 819 points and is shooting 37.9-percent from three-point land.

Junior Arshad Jackson (Hartford, Conn.) was also recognized among the conference's elite this season as he was named to the GNAC All-Conference Third Team. Jackson is leading the Falcons and is among the top players in the GNAC with 152 assists and 57 steals this season. He averages 12.5 points per game, which is third-best for the Falcons on the year.

In addition to the individual honors of these three players, fifth-year head coach Mitch Oliver was named the 2012 GNAC Coach of the Year after leading his team to a 24-1 regular-season outing. Oliver guided his program to a perfect 18-0 showing in GNAC regular-season play as the Falcons became the only men's basketball program in league history to go undefeated.

Freshman DJ Griffin was named to the 2012 GNAC Men's Basketball Sportsmanship Team as well.

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