OBW America East Third Team All-Conference
Antonio Bivins, Sr., F, UMass Lowell
Had Bivins played the entire year and continued to put up the numbers and percentages he did in half a season – and coming off an Achilles tendon tear in August, no less – he’d be a strong candidate for First Team honors and perhaps in the discussion for Player of the Year. As is, his season was wonderful as is. The super-athletic 6’5” scored from everywhere on the floor – from in-your-face posterizations all the way out to a beautiful mid-range game – while impacting the game on the glass, on defense and in the locker room. Bivins ranked sixth in the league in scoring in conference games (14 ppg) while his offensive rating ranked 11th among all players and his usage rate ranked 10th.
Dave Coley, Sr., G, Stony Brook
Coley had a very pedestrian year offensively, igniting for short stretches but then going cold for prolonged ones. Still, he ranked 14th in scoring in conference games (11.6 ppg), and 12th in overall rebounding. Coley made a far larger impact on the defensive end, where he drew the nightly task of defending the opponents best back court scorer and on most nights shut them down.
Gary Johnson, Sr., F, Albany
Johnson quietly had a very surprising and outright stellar senior year, going from a defensive specialist a season ago to a legitimate scorer. A very long, lanky and athletic 6’6”, last year Johnson used his length to blanket defenders, but was all but helpless on offense. This year, he has made a massive leap, ranking 14th in the league among all players in offensive rating. Johnson’s shooting percentage has taken a massive jump from the low 34.6 percent as a first year JUCO transfer last season to 52.8 percent as a senior, while nearly quadrupling his scoring from 3.3 ppg to 11.1.
Rodney Elliott, Fr., G, UMBC
Elliott hasn’t simply been one of the best freshmen in the league, he has been one of the best players and top point guards, keeping the throttle down and pushing the pace while playing at 110-percent effort at all times. Elliot ranked fourth overall in the conference in scoring and assists (14.9 points and 3.5 assists per game) and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio, while shooting at a very high percentage for a point guard (45.3 percent from the floor).
Sam Rowley, Jr., F, Albany
Halfway through the year, Rowley looked like a contender for Player of the Year honors and a lock for the first team – scoring at will while shooting at an insane percentage from the floor. A bad wrist injury hindered him for much of the conference slate and, even after returning to health, he simply hasn’t been the same. Still, he is a legit low-post scorer, a big time rebounder and continues to demand double-teams on the blocks. Rowley ranked 13th overall in scoring (11.3 points per game) and fourth in rebounding (6.8 rpg).
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