Ohio Wesleyan senior wing Megan Kuether (Osgood, OH/Marion Local) and Denison senior post Jordan Holmes (Pittsburgh, PA/Mt. Lebanon) have been named the Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively, to highlight the 2017 All-North Coast Athletic Conference women's basketball team, following voting by the conference's head coaches.
Kuether, who is OWU's first NCAC Player of the Year recipient since Kelly Heil in 2003, was the focal point of the Bishops' offense this year as the led all NCAC players in league games in both points with 313 (19.6 ppg) and assists with 59 (3.7 apg). She scored in double-figures in all 16 conference games this season, which included seven games with 20-plus points. Her top scoring effort of the season came in a 70-59 loss against DePauw on January 4th when she poured in a season-high 29 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field. While she did most of her damage in the scoring column, Kuether also was the top distributor in the league, highlighted by a seven assist effort in a 70-62 win over Wittenberg on February 15th. In 106 career games at OWU, Kuether tallied 1,163 total points and 212 assists.
Holmes, who is now the sixth player in NCAC history to be named to the All-NCAC first team for the fourth year in a row, was a force on the defensive side of the ball for the Big Red this season as she was the overwhelming league leader in both blocked shots (85) and defensive rebounds (184). She topped the double-digit rebounding mark in 13 of the 16 conference games, highlighted by a near triple-double performance in a 63-48 win over Wooster on February 4th when she tallied 19 rebounds (15 defensive), nine blocks and 10 points. Her top rebounding mark of the season in conference play was accomplished in a 59-43 win at Allegheny on February 11th when she again nearly missed a triple-double with 24 boards (16 defensive), seven blocks and a season-high 28 points. Holmes, who was also the 2016 NCAC Player of the Year, closes out her collegiate career as the NCAA Division III career leader in both rebounds (1,711) and blocked shots (642).
While Holmes and Kuether were the only repeat selections on the top team from 2016, three players made the jump to the first team from the second team, including DePauw sophomore guard Maya Howard (St. Louis, MO/MICDS), DePauw senior Claire Ryan (Chicago, IL/Marist) and Hiram junior center Mercedes Jones (Dayton, OH/Pontiz Career Tech. Center).
In addition, Ohio Wesleyan freshman post Elea Karras (Bellbrook, OH/Miami Valley) was named the 2017 NCAC Newcomer of the Year after finishing the 16-game conference slate with 157 points (9.8 ppg), 40 rebounds (2.5 rpg) and 21 assists (1,3 apg). Karras, who is the first OWU player to earn the NCAC Newcomer of the Year honor since Kayla Gordon in 2008, ranked third in the league in three-point shooting percentage at 37% (25-of-68), which included a 6-for-8 effort from long distance in a 72-65 win over Denison on February 1st.
DePauw head coach Kris Huffman was named the 2017 NCAC Women's Basketball Coach of the Year for the third time in her career and the first time since earning back-to-back awards in 2012 and '13. She guided the Tigers to their fifth conference title in the last six years after posting a 15-1 record in NCAC games. Since joining the league in the 2011-12 academic year, Huffman has posted a remarkable record of 91-5 in regular season conference games, which includes three perfect 16-0 seasons in 2011-12, 2012-13 and again in 2014-15. After winning the 2017 NCAC Tournament, the Tigers will now be competing in the NCAA Tournament for the 14th year in a row and the 18th time overall under Huffman's leadership.
Player of the Year
Player of the Year
|Newcomer of the Year||Coach of the Year|
||Jordan Holmes||Elea Karras