Monday, March 10, 2008

Calathes, Christmas named first team A-10

-Courtesy of the Atlantic 10

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Massachusetts senior swingman Gary Forbes, who enters this week’s Championship tied for the Atlantic 10 lead in scoring, has been tabbed the 2007-08 men’s basketball Player of the Year in voting conducted among the Conference’s 14 head coaches.

The A-10 coaches also selected Kevin Anderson of Richmond as the Rookie of the Year, Massachusetts’ Ricky Harris as the Chris Daniels Award recipient as the league’s most improved player, Josh Duncan of Xavier as Sixth Man of the Year, teammate Stanley Burrell
as Defensive Player of the Year and Xavier’s Sean Miller as Coach of the Year. For the second consecutive season, Kieron Achara of Duquesne garnered Student-Athlete of the Year honors in voting among the league’s sports information directors.

Forbes enters this week’s Atlantic 10 Championship (Mar. 12-15) in Atlantic City tied with Temple’s Dionte Christmas with an average of 20.3 ppg., up from 13.0 ppg. a year ago. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native has registered a Conference-best 18 performances of at least 20
points and leads the Minutemen in rebounding (7.7 rpg.) and double-doubles (nine). He is the second Minuteman in as many seasons to earn the league’s Player of the Year honor as Stephane Lasme took the award in 2006-07.

A two-time Player of the Week selection, Forbes is joined on the All-Conference first-team by Christmas, Pat Calathes of Saint Joseph’s, Rhode Island’s Will Daniels and Brian Roberts of Dayton. Daniels is the first URI standout to be named to the first-team in successive years since Tyson Wheeler (1997-98).

The All-Conference second-team consists of Duncan and teammate Drew Lavender, Fordham’s Bryant Dunston, Darnell Harris of La Salle and Temple’s Mark Tyndale. The third-team includes Burrell, Dan Geriot of Richmond, Charlotte’s Leemire Goldwire, Kevin Lisch of Saint Louis and Saint Joseph’s Ahmad Nivins.

A program-best seven-time A-10 Rookie of the Week selection, Anderson ranks third on the Spiders with an average of 10.5 ppg. and scored at least 20 points on two occasions in Conference play. The Duluth, Ga., resident leads the team in assists (88) and steals (52) while leading the Spiders to nine league victories and the fourth seed in the 2008 A-10 Championship, equaling their best-ever finish.

Anderson is joined on the All-Rookie team by Lavoy Allen of Temple, Duquesne’s Damian Saunders, An’Juan Wilderness of Charlotte, La Salle’s Jerrell Williams and Chris Wright of Dayton. Accepting his role as a defensive stopper while guarding the opposing team’s top perimeter player, Burrell led a Xavier defense that leads the A-10 in field goal percentage defense (.402) and ranks second in scoring defense (62.3 ppg.). The senior guard has recorded 20 steals and has not fouled out of a game while averaging 31.5 minutes of action.

The All-Defensive team is comprised of Burrell, Dunston, Lisch, Rhode Island’s Parfait Bitee and Shawn James of Duquesne.

Ricky Harris garnered the Atlantic 10's Chris Daniels Award, presented to the Conference’s most improved player. A year ago, the sophomore guard averaged 4.5 points while averaging just 10.8 minutes of action. This season, the Baltimore, Md., native ranks sixth in the league in both scoring (18.1 ppg.) and three-pointers made (82). The lone sophomore to be twice named A-10 Player of the Week this season, Harris scored 20 or more points in eight of the third-seeded Minutemen’s 16 Conference tilts.

The versatile Duncan flourished coming off the bench for the Musketeers during his senior campaign, leading the team in scoring (11.6 ppg.) while shooting 52.3 percent (114-of-218) in just 21.7 minutes per game. In A-10 contests, the Cincinnati, Ohio, resident averaged a
team-high 12.8 points and shot 51 percent (25-of-49) from beyond the arc.

Achara is the third individual to be twice named the Student-Athlete of the Year in men’s basketball, joining Saint Joseph’s Bill Phillips (2001-02) and Brian Thornton of Xavier (2005-06). The forward/center is averaging 11.4 points and ranks second on the team with 45
blocks while leading the Dukes to their highest win total (17) since the 1993-94 season. In the classroom, the Stirling, Scotland, native boasts a 4.0 grade-point average as a graduate student in Duquesne’s sports leadership program.

One of 30 nominees for the Lowe’s Senior Class Award, Achara is a three-time All-Academic Team selection. He is joined on the Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference Team by Saint Louis teammates Lisch and Luke Meyer, Rhode Island’s Jimmy Baron and Yves Mekongo Mbala of La Salle.

Miller earns his first A-10 Coach of the Year honor after guiding eighth-ranked Xavier to a 14-2 mark in league play and the top seed in this week’s Championship. At 26-5 overall, the Musketeers are tied for the second-most single-season wins in program history and claimed
their second consecutive A-10 regular season crown. Now in his fourth season at XU, Miller boasts a career record of 89-37 and has led the Musketeers to three straight 20-win seasons. A four-year standout at Pittsburgh, Miller graduated in 1992 with a bachelor’s of arts degree in communications.


First-Team School Cl. Pos. Ht. Hometown PPG RPG Asts Stls Blks
Pat Calathes Saint Joseph’s Sr. G/F 6-10 Casselberry, Fla. 17.8 7.7 77 39 36
Dionte Christmas Temple Jr. G 6-5 Philadelphia, Pa 20.3 6.2 77 41 7
Will Daniels Rhode Island Sr. F 6-8 Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 18.8 6.7 36 31 31
Gary Forbes Massachusetts Sr. F/G 6-7 Brooklyn, N.Y. 20.3 7.9 93 29 22
Brian Roberts Dayton Sr. G 6-2 Toledo, Ohio 19.0 2.6 107 11 4

Josh Duncan Xavier Sr. F 6-9 Cincinnati, Ohio 11.6 4.6 46 14 19
Bryant Dunston Fordham Sr. F 6-8 Queens, N.Y. 15.5 10.0 56 28 76
Darnell Harris La Salle Sr. G 6-1 Baltimore, Md. 16.4 2.2 61 32 8
Drew Lavender Xavier Sr. G 5-7 Columbus, Ohio 10.8 2.6 131 33 2
Mark Tyndale Temple Sr. G 6-5 Philadelphia, Pa. 16.1 6.8 124 47 20

Stanley Burrell Xavier Sr. G 6-3 Indianapolis, Ind. 9.9 2.1 118 20 3
Dan Geriot Richmond So. F/C 6-9 Springfield, Pa. 14.2 5.6 53 22 10
Leemire Goldwire Charlotte Sr. G 5-11 Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. 18.8 4.4 49 64 3
Kevin Lisch Saint Louis Jr. G 6-2 Belleville, Ill. 14.7 3.8 96 37 4
Ahmad Nivins Saint Joseph’s Jr. F/C 6-9 Jersey City, N.J. 14.5 5.7 12 20 36

Rookie Team
Lavoy Allen Temple Fr. F 6-9 Morrisville, Pa. 8.1 5.5 45 16 45
Kevin Anderson Richmond Fr. G 5-11 Duluth, Ga. 10.5 2.6 88 52 5
Damian Saunders Duquesne Fr. F 6-7 Waterbury, Conn. 6.7 5.2 47 45 37
An’Juan Wilderness Charlotte Fr. F 6-6 Dunwoody, Ga. 8.4 4.9 36 25 3
Jerrell Williams La Salle Fr. F 6-8 Patterson, N.J. 9.3 6.6 37 17 22
Chris Wright Dayton Fr. F 6-8 Trotwood, Ohio 10.4 6.0 5 5 11

Defensive Team
Parfait Bitee Rhode Island Sr. G 6-2 Yaounde, Cameroon 12.0 2.5 148 25 6
Stanley Burrell Xavier Sr. G 6-3 Indianapolis, Ind. 9.9 2.1 118 20 3
Bryant Dunston Fordham Sr. F 6-8 Queens, N.Y. 15.5 10.0 61 32 8
Shawn James Duquesne Jr. F/C 6-10 Brooklyn. N.Y. 12.8 6.9 29 9 107
Kevin Lisch Saint Louis Jr. G 6-2 Belleville, Ill. 14.7 3.8 96 37 4

Academic Team School Cl. Pos. Ht. Hometown Major
Kieron Achara Duquesne Sr. F/C 6-9 Stirling, Scotland Sports Leadership
Jimmy Baron Rhode Island Jr. G 6-2 East Greenwich, R.I. Communication Studies
Kevin Lisch Saint Louis Jr. G 6-2 Belleville, Ill. Business Administration
Yves Mekongo Mbala La Salle So. F 6-7 Elizabeth, N.J. Integrated Science &
Business Technology
Luke Meyer Saint Louis Gr. F/G 6-5 Washington, Mo. MBA

Player of the Year: Gary Forbes, Massachusetts

Rookie of the Year: Kevin Anderson, Richmond

Defensive Player of the Year: Stanley Burrell, Xavier

Chris Daniels Most Improved Player of the Year: Ricky Harris, Massachusetts

Sixth Man of the Year: Josh Duncan, Xavier

Student-Athlete of the Year: Kieron Achara, Duquesne

Coach of the Year: Sean Miller, Xavier

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