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Knollmeyer Takes Home Two Pieces of CCC Hardware; Ganley, Azums Earn All-CCC Honors

Knollmeyer Takes Home Two Pieces of CCC Hardware; Ganley, Azums Earn All-CCC Honors

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Commonwealth Coast Conference announced its 2017-18 Men's Basketball All-Conference Teams and major award winners Monday afternoon. Nine of the 10 men's basketball schools were represented while the 2017-18 CCC Regular-Season Champion Nichols had the most representatives with four. Voting for the All-CCC Teams and major awards was conducted by the 10 CCC head men's basketball coaches following the conclusion of the regular season.

The major awards featured two repeat winners from a year ago. Nichols guard Marcos Echevarria (Lynn, Mass.) and Wentworth guard Sam Knollmeyer (Hampton, N.H.) were selected as the Player and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively, for the second straight season. Knollmeyer also took home some additional hardware as the Senior Scholar-Athlete. Western New England forward Zach Tavitian (Milford, Conn.) was named the Rookie of the Year.

After wrapping up the CCC Regular-Season title, Nichols head coach Tom Glynn was selected by his peers as the CCC Coach of the Year. Curry was honored with the Team Sportsmanship award.

Echevarria was also an All-CCC First Team selection. He was joined on the first team by fellow Nichols guard DeAnte Bruton (New London, Conn.). Gordon also had two First Team Selections in sophomore guard Eric Demers (Acushnet, Mass.) and junior forward Garrisson Duvivier (Brockton, Mass.). Endicott's Keith Brown (Pelham, N.H.) and Roger Williams guard Austin Coene (Tyngsborough, Mass.) wrapped up the First Team.

The Wentworth pair of Stephen Azums (Hyde Park, Mass.) and Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) were selected to the All-CCC Second Team. Joining them were Nick Marini (Loudonville, N.Y.) from Roger Williams, Rodney Morton (Malden, Mass.) from Salve Regina, and Mikey Pettway (Bridgeport, Conn.) from Western New England.

There were five players named to the All-CCC Third Team including two more Bison. Daequon Antoine (Fort Mill, S.C.) and Jerome Cunningham (Westbury, N.Y.) were both selected. Roger Williams forward Conor O'Brien (Sharon, Mass.) was also honored as were Eastern Nazarene's Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) and the University of New England's Daron Hoges Jr. (West Orange, N.J.).

Knollmeyer becomes the first Leopard men's basketball player to repeat as the league's defensive player of the year after taking home the hardware as a junior. Starting all 25 of the team's games, he has been a key reason why Wentworth leads the conference in scoring defense (67.6 points per game) and field goal percentage defense (41.0 percent). Both of these statistics also rank the Black & Gold among the Top 50 NCAA Division III schools at 41st and 45th, respectively. Tasked with guarding the opposing team's top perimeter player, he has put up some impressive defensive performances, not only this year, but also throughout his career as Wentworth set a program record during his freshman season allowing opponents to shoot just 38.8 percent from the floor. On the offensive end, he averaged 5.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. A Business Management major with a concentration in Entrepreneurship, Knollmeyer has been on the Dean's List in each of his semesters, has twice been named Academic All-CCC, and is a member of Chi Alpha Sigma, the national college athlete honor society. Knollmeyer serves as Wentworth's SAAC Vice-President, has volunteered with both the Special Olympics and the Greater Boston Food Bank. Additionally, he participated in Wentworth's Alternative Spring Break. For his career he has started 85 of the 101 games in which he has played, averaging 5.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. His 214 assists rank him 11th all-time in program history.

Ganley earns his third straight All-CCC nod as he was a first team selection during his sophomore season and a second team selection as a junior. Starting 24 of the 25 games in which he has played this season, he leads the team in scoring averaging 20.4 points per game to go along with 4.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists. His 20.4 points per game are the third-highest in a single season while his 511 points rank him fifth on Wentworth's single-season scoring list. Ganley was the team's high scorer 20 times this season, including when he scored a season-high 31 points in a 67-64 overtime win over Western New England on February 13. In 98 career games (76 starts), Ganley is averaging 15.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game while shooting .452 from the floor. He ranks in Wentworth's top five in numerous statistical categories, including free throws made (299, third), points (1,493, fourth), field goals made (533, fourth), and three-point field goals made (128, seventh). He also owns the program's single-game record for points when he scored 39 against Gordon on January 19, 2016,

After setting Wentworth's single-season field goal percentage (.652) during his rookie season, Azums had an impressive sophomore season to earn a spot on the second team. Starting 21 of the 25 games in which he has played, Azums is averaging 14.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, while shooting .624 from the floor. His field goal percentage, total rebounds (254) and rebounding average all rank him third on Wentworth's single-season list. Azums recorded 11 double-doubles and was the team's leading rebounder in 18 contests. He had a career-high 27 points in a 97-89 win at the University of New England on January 11 and grabbed a career-best 19 rebounds on two occasions; a 66-60 win at Roger Williams and an 82-80 loss to the University of New England on February 6. In 44 career games (22 starts), Azums is averaging 12.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game while shooting .633 from the floor.

Wentworth finished the regular season with a 14-11 overall record and a 10-8 (fifth place) mark in CCC play. Entering the CCC Tournament as the number six seed, the Leopards head to third-seeded Endicott for a CCC quarterfinal on Tuesday (February 20) at 5:30 p.m.

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