OBW America East Defensive Player of the Year: Brian Voelkel, Vermont
OBW America East Player of the Year: Brian Voelkel, Vermont
It’s on the other end of the floor, though, where Voelkel made individual history. The point-forward is the only player in Division-I history with more than 1000 rebounds and 600 assists; we may never see another. And he’s in that club by a comfortable margin – there is a small but non-zero chance that he establishes the 1000-700 club before his season ends (he’s 37 assists away). Despite not being a major threat off the dribble, Voelkel was able to pick out passes with such ease that he led the conference in both assists and assist-to-turnover ratio.
The one hole in Voelkel’s game, historically, was as a scorer. As a senior, Brian remained a reticent shooter, but incremental improvements have added up to the point that ignoring Voelkel on offense is no longer an option. His perimeter shooting, featuring even uglier form than you might expect, is nevertheless effective enough that he cannot be left wide open – and if teams sag off too far, Voelkel is more than willing to wade into the interior and pick teams apart from the inside. And for all his limitations while creating for himself off the dribble, Voelkel is a devastatingly effective offensive rebounder.
Nothing about the above would be described as beautiful by a casual observer, but winning ugly is still winning – and from a Catamount perspective, there’s been nothing ugly about the scoreboard.