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Knollmeyer, Kizel Earn Spots on NABC Honors Court

Knollmeyer, Kizel Earn Spots on NABC Honors Court

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) recently announced its 2016-17 NABC Honors Court, which recognizes those men's collegiate basketball student-athletes who excelled in academics during the past season. The NABC Honors Court recognizes the talents and gifts that these men possess off the court and the hard work they exhibit in the classroom.

A pair of rising senior Wentworth Institute of Technology men's basketball players – Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.) and Ben Kizel (Short Hills, N.J.) – were among those earning a place on the honors court, which in order to be eligible for, student athletes must:  be academically a junior or senior and a varsity player, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or higher at the conclusion of the 2016-17 academic year, have matriculated at least one year at their current institution, and must be a member of a NCAA Division I, II, III, or NAIA Division I or II institution with a NABC member coach.

The 2017 Commonwealth Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Knollmeyer helped the Leopards lead the conference in scoring defense, holding opponents to 66.6 points per game. This statistic ranked Wentworth 29th among NCAA Division III institutions. A Business Management major, Knollmeyer also helped the Black & Gold to hold opponents to shoot 41.8 percent from the floor, which was fourth in the league and 77th nationally. Knollmeyer had the task of guarding the opposing team's top perimeter player and put up some impressive performances on the defensive end all season while also leading the team in charges taken. Additionally, he scored a career-high 15 points against Nichols on December 3 and recorded a career-high nine rebounds and a career-best seven assists in games against the University of New England (January 25) and Gordon (January 17), respectively. Starting 60 of the 76 games in which he has played throughout his career, Knollmeyer helped lead a strong defensive effort during his three years as the Leopards have been among the conference leaders in both scoring defense and field goal percentage defense. During his freshman campaign the squad set a program record allowing opponents to shoot just 38.8 percent from the floor.

A Business Management major, Kizel enjoyed the finest season of his career, notching career highs with 7.4 points per game, 3.4 rebounds, per game, 3.0 assists per game, and 1.2 steals per game. Kizel also notched career highs in field goal percentage and three-point field goal percentage. He had a career-high 14 points against Drew on December 30, and, in that game, also had a career-high seven rebounds a feat which he matched in a game against Roger Williams on January 7. Kizel also had a career-high eight assists in a game against Curry on February 15. Starting 49 of the 79 games in which he has played during his career, Kizel is averaging 4.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.0 assists while shooting .787 from the free throw line. On Wentworth's career lists he is fifth in free throw percentage and his 159 assists rank him 18th.

Wentworth finished the 2016-17 season with a 14-13 overall record, marking the third straight season the Leopards finished over .500. The Leopards also advanced, for the fourth straight season, to the CCC Semifinals before falling to eventual conference champion Nichols.

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