OBW America East Second Team All-Conference
Sandro Carissimo, Sr., G, Vermont
If Sandro Carissimo had a selfish bone in his body, he might be on the First Team. If he played on lesser team and was forced to take more shots and kept up his same efficiency rating, he’d be on our First Team. Those are the unanswerable “what ifs”. As is, Carissimo had a brilliant senior season and was the last man off our First Team. Carissimo ranked eighth in the league in Kenpom offensive rating, and fourth among players who accounted for at least 20 percent of their teams possessions. Beyond that, The soft-spoken six-footer was heady, steady, efficient and consistent for the Catamounts, hitting big shots, getting to the rack at will for stretches, and always remaining calm, cool and collected.
Peter Hooley, R-Soph., G, Albany
Hooley avoided a sophomore slump and instead made the leap from solid supporting cast member to spotlight star, emerging as the Great Danes’ go to scorer. After spending last season as a combo-guard, running the point when Mike Black needed a blow, the 6’3” Australian has focuses solely on putting the ball in the hoop this year and he’s filled it up all season long. Hooley tied for third in scoring in league games (15.4 ppg) and ranked sixth overall (14.8 ppg). He also ranked sixth overall in Kenpom offensive rating while showing the ability to knock down the 3-ball, master the mid-range game and get to the hoop.
Mark Nwakamma, Jr., F, Hartford
Nwakamma is a tricky case, because his advanced stats and efficiency rankings when combined with his usage rate stack up favorably against most players in the conference, but his propensity to rack up fouls and spend extended periods of time on the bench continued to handicap the Hawks. A super athletic, incredibly skilled and extremely talented 6’6” 230-pound power forward, Nwakamma plays with relentless effort and energy, and scored from everywhere on the floor, ranking seventh in the league in scoring in conference games (13.6 ppg) and third in overall scoring (15.1 ppg). His nearly four fouls per contest and extended time on the bench is what keeps him off of our All-Conference First Team.
Xavier Pollard, Jr., G, Maine
Who knows what Pollard might have done if he was on any team other than the Titanic that is Maine. He also battled injuries, a suspension and saw his spot in the starting lineup come and go as the Black Bears seemingly threw lineups against the wall to see what stuck. Despite the vortex of dysfunction and disarray swirling around him, the 6’2” junior did it all for Maine, stuffing the stat sheet, tying for fourth in the league in scoring at 14.9 points per game, while ranking third in assists (4 apg), second in steals (1.7 spg) and 18th in rebounds despite playing the point guard position (4.4 rpg). He was also an outstanding on-ball defender.
Carson Puriefoy, Soph., G, Stony Brook
Puriefoy was phenomenal for stretches for the Seawolves, and who knows that might have been if he didn’t spend the first half of the season coming off the bench and also hadn’t battled injuries for spells. The dynamic six-foot point guard ranked 11th in overall scoring (12.7 ppg) and eighth in scoring in conference games (13.5 ppg). He was also the only player on the Seawolves capable of dribble penetration or of generating offense, pushing the pace in transition and getting to the hoop in the halfcourt.
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