CLEVELAND, Ohio – Wabash sophomore guard Jack Davidson (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) has been named the Player of the Year and Wittenberg senior guard Mitch Balser (Centerville, Ohio/Centerville) has been named the league's Top Defensive Player to highlight the 2019 All-North Coast Athletic Conference men's basketball squad, as selected by the league's 10 head coaches.
Davidson is the second Little Giant to claim Player of the Year since Joe DesJean earned the honor in 2002, while also being just the third overall Wabash player to be selected. He elevated himself from the 2018 All-NCAC second team to first team honors this season. The sophomore had a productive offensive season after leading the league in points (420) while averaging 24.7 per game in conference matchups. In the Little Giants last NCAC regular-season game, an 89-76 win against Oberlin on Feb. 16, Davidson broke the NCAA all-time, all-divisions record for consecutive free throws made (95). The guard scored in double figures in 16 of his 17 regular-season conference games, led by a season-high 43 points in an 85-74 win at Denison on Jan. 18. The 2018 Newcomer of the Year also handed out four or more assists in five different league games this season, which included dishing five on Dec. 5 and six on Jan. 23 in two victories over Ohio Wesleyan.
Balser, who claimed All-NCAC second team honors for the second-consecutive season, was selected as the league's top defensive player throughout the conference season after anchoring the Tigers' defensive unit that limited NCAC opponents to 72.4 points per game. In 18 conference games, he collected 66 total boards (3.7 rpg), 21 steals (1.2 spg) and three blocks. The senior gathered four or more rebounds in 10 NCAC matchups, including a season-high eight in a 95-67 win over Kenyon on Feb. 2. The guard also produced on offense for the Tigers, averaging 15.2 points and 1.8 assists per game in conference play.
Wooster senior guard Reece Dupler (Newark, Ohio/Lakewood) and junior guard Danyon Hempy (Waldo, Ohio/River Valley), who were both second-team selections last winter, landed on the top team for the first time in their careers. Dupler also earned honorable mention accolades in 2017. In addition, Allegheny junior forward Jordan Rawls (Pittsburgh, Pa./Taylor Allderdice) elevated to the top team this year after being named to the honorable mention squad a season ago and Wittenberg junior forward Connor Seipel (Columbus, Ohio/Groveport Madison) made his debut on an All-NCAC team, claiming first-team honors this season.
In addition, Ohio Wesleyan freshman guard Ethan Stanislawski (Massillion, Ohio/Jackson) is the fourth overall Battling Bishop to earn the NCAC's Newcomer of the Year award as the league's top player in their first year of collegiate competition. Stanislawski, who is also a member of the All-NCAC second team this season, finished seventh in scoring with 302 total points in 18 conference games for an average of 16.8 points per game. He scored in double figures in 17 of the 18 conference games this season, including a season-best mark of 25 in an 87-57 win over Kenyon on Jan. 9 and then again in a close 75-70 loss at DePauw on Jan. 12. He also finished the NCAC regular season ranked in the top-10 with 15 blocks, top-15 with 40 assists and top-20 with 87 rebounds,
Finally, Wooster head coach Steve Moore was named the NCAC Men's Basketball Coach of the Year for the ninth time in his career. Moore guided the Fighting Scots to their first outright NCAC title since 2014 with a 16-2 mark against league foes. Offensively, his squad ranked at the top of the league in field goals (576-1142), shooting percentage (50.4), points (84.7 ppg), assists (14.2 apg), steals (8.1 spg), and blocks (3.8 bpg). The Fighting Scots also held conference opponents to a league-low 69.7 points per game.
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|Jack Davidson||Mitch Balser||