MARSHFIELD, Mass. – The New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) announced its 2018-19 Men’s Basketball All-Conference teams and major award winners on Tuesday morning. The awards were voted on by the conference’s nine coaches following the conclusion of the regular season. Eight of the nine conference schools are represented on the all-conference teams, with newcomer New England College leading the way with three honorees, as well as three of the four major awards.
Mitchell senior center Domenico Santiago (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) was voted the 2018-19 NECC Player of the Year. New England College’s sophomore guard Calvin Cheek was named Defensive Player of the Year, while his teammate, freshman guard Jamal Allen (Dorchester, Mass.) was named Rookie of the Year. New England College’s head coach Charlie Mason was voted Coach of the Year by his peers.
Santiago is joined on the first team by Becker College senior guard Kareem Davis (Lowell, Mass.) and junior guard Jordan Booker (Waterbury, Conn.) of Dean College. New England College’s senior guard Ricky Leonard (Windsor, Conn.) and Southern Vermont College’s senior guard/forward Andre Hodo (Silver Spring, Md.) round out the first team selections.
Defensive Player of the Year, Calvin Cheek, headlines the second team, and he is joined by teammate, junior guard Izaiah Winston-Brooks (Roxbury, Mass). The second team also features two from Eastern Nazarene College, junior guards Garrett Crandell (Bristol, Tenn.) and Josh Rice (Hanson, Mass.) Mitchell’s senior guard Steffen Brunson (West Haven, Conn.) completes the second team selections.
Dean’s senior guard Dayvon Russell (Naugatuck, Conn.) lands a third team selection, while Lesley University forward Joey Martin (Melbourne, Fla.) also nabbed a selection. Senior forward Jason Jones (Roxbury, Mass.) of New England College earned third team accolades, as did senior guard Omar Williams (Queens, N.Y.) of Newbury College and senior guard Josh Borders (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) of Southern Vermont.
NECC Player of the Year – Domenico Santiago, Mitchell (Sr., C, Port St. Lucie, Fla.)
In his senior campaign, Santiago led the Mariners to a 10-and-6 regular season conference record, and the number four seed in the conference tournament. Santiago averages a double-double in league play, scoring 16.1 points per game, and pulling down an NECC-best 12.2 rebounds per game. Overall, Santiago’s 12.7 rebounds per game ranks fifth in NCAA Division III, and he is one of only two active Division III players with over 1,000 career rebounds. His fifteen double-doubles also leads the conference. Santiago was a three-time 2018-19 NECC Player of the Week selection (weeks ending 11/18/18, 11/25/18, 12/9/18).
NECC Defensive Player of the Year – Calvin Cheek, New England Col. (So., G, Mattapan, Mass.)
Sophomore Calvin Cheek was the leader of a New England College defense that held conference opponents to 73.3 points per game. He helped the Pilgrims to a 15-and-1 record in their first season in the NECC, securing the top seed in the NECC Championship. The Pilgrims consistently looked to the sophomore to defend their opponent’s top guard. Cheek was masterful on the defensive end, leading the league with 4.9 steals per game in league play. His 5.1 steals per game overall leads NCAA Division III.
NECC Rookie of the Year – Jamal Allen, New England Col. (Fr., G., Dorchester, Mass.)
Freshman Jamal Allen made an immediate impact for a Pilgrims team that won the regular season title in its first year of NECC competition. Allen averaged 16.9 points per game in league play, shooting at a 45.5 percent clip. He earned NECC Rookie of the Week honors four times (weeks ending 11/25/18, 1/21/19, 1/27/19, 2/3/19).
Coach of the Year – Charlie Mason, New England Col.
In his seventeenth season at the helm for the Pilgrims, Mason led his squad to a 15-and-1 conference record, the regular season title, and the No. 1 seed in the 2019 NECC Men’s Basketball Championship. In their first season in the NECC, the Pilgrims led the league in points per game in league play at 90.4. He landed three players on the 2018-19 all-conference teams. This is Mason’s first NECC Coach of the Year accolade.
First Team All-NECC
Kareem Davis, Becker (Sr., G, Lowell, Mass.)
Jordan Booker, Dean (Jr., G, Waterbury, Conn.)
Domenico Santiago, Mitchell (Sr., C, Port St. Lucie, Fla.)
Ricky Leonard, New England Col. (Sr., G, Windsor, Conn.)
Andre Hodo, Southern Vermont (Sr., G/F, Silver Spring, Md.)
Second Team All-NECC
Garrett Crandell, Eastern Nazarene (Jr., G, Bristol, Tenn.)
Josh Rice, Eastern Nazarene (Jr., G, Hanson, Mass.)
Steffen Brunson, Mitchell (Sr., G, West Haven, Conn.)
Izaiah Winston-Brooks, New England Col. (Jr., G, Roxbury, Mass.)
Calvin Cheek, New England Col. (So., G, Mattapan, Mass.)
Third Team All-NECC
Dayvon Russell, Dean (Sr., G, Naugatuck, Conn.)
Joey Martin, Lesley (Sr., F, Melbourne, Fla.)
Jason Jones, New England Col. (Sr., F, Roxbury, Mass.)
Omar Williams, Newbury (Sr., G, Queens, N.Y.)
Josh Borders, Southern Vermont (Sr., G, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Del Malloy Sportsmanship Team
Mateus Ribeiro, Becker (So., F, Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Armani Baker, Dean (Sr., F, Pawtucket, R.I.)
Nathan Vazquez, Eastern Nazarene (Sr., F, Weymouth, Mass.)
Nikolas Brown, Elms (So., G/F, Wellington, Fla.)
Chase Howard, Lesley (So., F, San Diego, Calif.)
Matt Finke, Mitchell (Jr., G, Wolcott, Conn.)
Justin Eck, New England Col. (Jr., G, Centerreach, N.Y.)
Francisco Santiago, Newbury (Fr., G, New Britain, Conn.)
Rohan Piple, Southern Vermont (Sr., G/F, Germantown, Md.)