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2014 NEC Awards

The NEC announced their official awards on Tuesday. There weren't a lot of surprises, but that doesn't mean there wasn't a little bit of disagreement over some selections.

Paul Vladuchick

The NEC announced their official awards on Tuesday at 11am over Twitter.

Taking home the Player of the Year honors was senior guard Karvel Anderson of the Robert Morris Colonials.  Anderson led the conference in points per game (19.6), three-pointers per game (3.32), and three-point percentage (46.4%).   He can become just the fourth player in conference history to shoot 50 percent from the floor (51.4% currently) and 45 percent from beyond the arc.   Last Saturday, he became the seventh player in NEC history to surpass 100 three-pointers in a season (103), and is just 19 shy of the conference record.

Robert Morris head coach Andy Toole was honored as the Coach of the Year, after leading RMU to a 14-2 record in the conference, and their fifth NEC regular-season title in seven seasons.  Toole was left with just an eight-man roster five games into the conference schedule, yet his team went 11-2 during that span.

For the third straight season, the Defensive Player of the Year went to Wagner Seahawks point guard Kenneth Ortiz.  The senior from New Jersey became the first player in NEC history to win the award three times.   He's best known for his on-ball and perimeter defense; he was second in steals per game (1.9) and steal percentage (3.4%) in the conference.   Wagner had the best defensive efficiency rating in the NEC at 93.3, and they also ranked first in eFG% (43.1%), two-point % (42.6%) and three-point % (29.3%), and block % (18.4%).

Senior point guard Sidney Sanders Jr. of the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights was the clear-cut choice for Most Improved Player.   As a junior, Sanders Jr. averaged just 4.6 ppg as a reserve, but raised that average to 19.2 ppg as a senior, while under the tutelage of first year head coach Greg Herenda. Sanders had five games this season in which he scored 30 or more points. He led the conference in steals per game at 2.1 as well.

Freshman of the Year went to point guard Malik Harmon of the St. Francis (PA) Red Flash.  Despite his youth, Harmon was top-10 in the NEC in assists per game (3.2) and assist/turnover ratio (1.77).   He also chipped in 9.1 points per game, and was a key contributor in helping St. Francis get back to the conference tournament - the first time since 2010-2011.

Here is the complete list of honorees:

2013-14 All-NEC Team and Award Winners
Player of the Year -
Karvel Anderson, RMU
Coach of the Year - Andy Toole, RMU
Defensive Player of the Year - Kenneth Ortiz, Wagner
Most Improved Player of the Year - Sidney Sanders Jr., FDU
Rookie of the Year - Malik Harmon, SFU

First-Team All-NEC
F - Alex Francis, Bryant
F - Jalen Cannon, SFC
G - Karvel Anderson, RMU
G - Sidney Sanders Jr., FDU
G - Jason Brickman, LIU Brooklyn

Second-Team All-NEC
F - Earl Brown, SFU
F - Lucky Jones, RMU
G - Dyami Starks, Bryant
G - Rashad Whack, MSM
G - Julian Norfleet, MSM

Third-Team All-NEC
F - Faronte Drakeford, CCSU
G - Kyle Vinales, CCSU
G - Corey Maynard, Bryant
G - Latif Rivers, Wagner
G - Kenneth Ortiz, Wagner

NEC All-Rookie Team
F - Wayne Martin, SFC
F - De'Von Barnett - SHU
G - Malik Harmon - SFU
G - Matt Mobley - CCSU
G - Matt MacDonald - FDU

- Stats courtesy of KenPom and Stat-Sheet.