NJIT's Chris Flores Headlines All-Great West Conference Men's Basketball Team
March 13, 2013
CHICAGO - For the second consecutive year, NJIT has claimed the Great West Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year. Chris Flores garners the award this year after former teammate Isaiah Wilkerson grabbed the honor in 2011-12. The All-GWC team, as voted on by the league coaches and sports information directors, was announced Wednesday on the eve of the 2013 Great West Conference Basketball Tournament.
Flores, the pick for GWC Preseason Player of the Year, lived up to the expectations, earning the top award after leading the Highlanders to the 2012-13 GWC title while topping the league with 17.2 points per game and 2.4 steals per game. It was the third straight All-GWC honor for Flores as he was a second-team selection each of the past two seasons.
Joining Flores on the first team were Utah Valley juniors Ben Aird and Holton Hunsaker, who were each second team honorees a year ago, Houston Baptist's Art Bernardi and UT-Pan American's Brandon Provost, a repeat first-team selection.
Aird leads the Great West in rebounding with nine per contest (11.1 in GWC play) and field goal percentage (.573), and is second in scoring with 15 ppg. In league games, he leads the GWC in scoring with 18.1 ppg.
Hunsaker averages 13.3 points per game, scoring 13.6 in GWC games, and leads the conference with 91 percent from the free-throw line.
Bernardi picks up his first All-GWC honor after averaging 14.5 points and 6.9 rebounds per game (ranking fourth and third, respectively). The senior posts a third-ranked average of 13.9 ppg and a second-place 9.0 rpg in GWC play.
Provost rounds out the first team after leading the Broncs to a GWC runner-up finish. The senior ranks third in scoring with 14.8 ppg, and leads the league in 3-point percentage (.436).
Second-team honorees include UTPA's Jesus Delgado (10.0 ppg, .461 FG Pct.); Chicago State's Nate Duhon (8.8 ppg) and Quinton Pippen (10.5 ppg, 1.9 spg); and NJIT's PJ Miller (9.9 ppg, 3.5 assists per game) and Ryan Woods (14.3 ppg, 3.0 3-pointers per game).
Honorable mention honors went to HBU's Caleb Crayton, Rob Lewis and Marcel Smith; CSU's Jamere Dismukes and Matt Ross; UVU's Jason Johnson and Nick Thompson; and UTPA's Aaron Urbanus.
Five players were chosen to the All-Newcomer Team, including GWC Newcomer of the Year Duhon. Joining the CSU junior college transfer on the team were teammates Pippen and Ross, NJIT's Ky Howard and UVU's Thompson.
There was a tie for the Defensive Player of the Year with Houston Baptist's Anthony Hill and Pippen sharing the honor. The Sixth Man Award went to HBU's Lewis after the freshman came off the bench to score 10.9 ppg in league play.
NJIT's Jim Engles was named Coach of the Year for the first time after leading the Highlanders to their first GWC men's basketball championship with a 6-2 conference record. NJIT currently has a 16-12 overall record and the 16 wins is the most for an NJIT team in the school's Division I era. Engles is in his fifth season with the Highlanders.
Chicago State hosts the 2013 GWC Basketball Tournament at Chicago, Ill., beginning at 5 pm (CT) Thursday. Semifinal action will be Friday and the GWC men's tournament champioship game will tip off at 7:30 pm (CT) Saturday with the champion receiving a bid to the 2013 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.