March 4, 2014

Abraham, Bouchard Earn Little East Major Awards

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team received a pair of major awards as sophomore center Wale Abraham (Lynn, Mass.) was selected as the Little East Conference Defensive Player of the Year and freshman guard Tucker Bouchard (Kingston, Mass.) was voted as the Rookie of the Year this afternoon, when the conference office released its 2013-14 awards program.  

The eight men's basketball coaches also elected a six-member All-Little East, first-team and a five-player second-team.  The 28th annual men's basketball awards program was also comprised of a five-member All-Defensive and Rookie team.  

Abraham is the second Corsair to be voted as the top defensive player in the conference, joining former center Lance Greene (2012).  The Lynn, Mass. product received the highest amount of votes on the All-Defensive Team ballot.  A starter in 26 of his 27 games, Abraham is fourth in NCAA Division III in total blocks (91) and fifth in blocks per game (3.4).  He is also ranked among the Little East leaders in rebounding (3rd, 9.1) and defensive rebounds (4th, 5.8).  Abraham controlled the low blocks for UMass Dartmouth, reaching double figures in rebounds 10 times during his sophomore season.  He matched his career-high with 18 rebounds against Keene State College in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Little East Men's Basketball tournament.  Abraham was a major deterrent in the paint, forcing his opponents to settle for jump shots instead of lay-ups.  He was credited with at least four blocks in 12 games, including redirecting six attempts five times this past winter.  Abraham also contributed on the offensive end of the court with six double-doubles and 9.1 points per game.

Bouchard is the sixth member of the UMass Dartmouth men's basketball team to be selected as the top rookie in the Little East Conference and first since Brandon Stephens in 2008.  The Kingston, Mass. product also made his debut on the All-Little East, second-team in addition to being the highest vote-getter on the All-Rookie team.  Bouchard, a starter in all 27 games, is ranked fifth in the conference circuit in scoring (15.4 ppg), assists per game (3.3), and minutes per game (32.8), while ranking fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3).  He featured an accurate touch from the floor, ranking sixth in 3-point field goal percentage (40.6), 3-pointers made (43), and 12th in field goal percentage (44.5).  Bouchard recorded the highest single-point total by any men's basketball player, pouring in 34 points at Keene State on Feb. 12, 2014.  He filled up the scoring column on a daily basis, reaching double digits in points 21 times, including seven games with at least 20 points.  Bouchard drained a season-high five 3-pointers to net 30 points against Eastern Connecticut on Jan. 14, 2014.  He nearly posted a double-double against Geneva College (Pa.) with 15 points and a season-high nine assists.  Bouchard hauled in a season-best 10 rebounds at Curry College on Jan. 16, 2014.  He registered 417 total points, 130 rebounds, 89 assists, and 47 steals during his rookie year.

Formed in 1986, the Little East Conference serves as New England's premier athletic conference for public institutions in NCAA Division III.  Featuring 19 championship sports, the Little East Conference sponsors quality competition in every season for our student-athletes.  Our eight state colleges and universities dedicate themselves to an ongoing fulfillment of the Division III mission of passion, responsibility, sportsmanship, citizenship.

2013-14 Little East Men's Basketball All-Conference Teams
First Team
Chris Burton Junior Forward Rhode Island College
Mike Garrow Senior Guard Eastern Connecticut State University
Carl Joseph Junior Forward University of Massachusetts Boston
Trachone Preston Sophomore Guard Eastern Connecticut State University
Brian Salzillo Senior Guard Eastern Connecticut State University
Victor Smith Junior Center Rhode Island College
Second Team
Tucker Bouchard Freshman Guard University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Joseph Groski Junior Center Western Connecticut State University
Nate Howard Sophomore Center Keene State College
Petey Skevas Senior Guard Plymouth State University
Conor Sullivan Senior Forward University of Southern Maine
All-Defensive Team
Wale Abraham Sophomore Center University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Chris Burton Junior Forward Rhode Island College
Nate Howard Sophomore Center Keene State College
Hugh Lindo Freshman Forward Eastern Connecticut State University
Carl Joseph Junior Forward University of Massachusetts Boston
All-Rookie Team
Tucker Bouchard Freshman Guard University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Austin Cilley Freshman Guard Rhode Island College
Jaquel Edwards Freshman Forward Keene State College
Hugh Lindo Freshman Forward Eastern Connecticut State University
Kendall Marquez Freshman Guard Western Connecticut State University
Player of the Year
Mike Garrow, Eastern Connecticut State University
Defensive Player of the Year
Wale Abraham, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Rookie of the Year
Tucker Bouchard, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Coach of the Year
Bill Geitner, Eastern Connecticut State University