MEN'S HOOP HONORED AT ANNUAL AWARDS BANQUET
DURHAM, N.H. – Four players received awards, the squad's lone senior was recognized and the team and its extended staff were honored at the annual, season-ending University of New Hampshire men's basketball awards banquet Sunday afternoon at Huddleston Hall.
Junior guard Alvin Abreu (Lynn, Mass.) was recognized for his outstanding season as he was named the team's Most Valuable Player for the first time after leading the Wildcats to their second consecutive semifinal game.
Senior forward Radar Onguetou (Yaounde, Cameroon) received the third annual Coach Gerry Friel Award, given to the player who best exemplifies teamwork, sportsmanship, perseverance and academics. Gerry Friel, who passed away Aug. 20, 2007 at the age of 64, is UNH basketball's all-time winningest coach, having compiled 188 wins from 1969-1989.
Junior center Dane DiLiegro (Lexington, Mass.) garnered Rebounder of the Year honors for the second straight season after again leading the team on the glass.
Freshman wing Ferg Myrick (Philadelphia, Pa.) was named the team's Rookie of the Year after coming on strong for the Wildcats down the stretch.
Guard Colbey Santos (Onset, Mass.), the team's lone graduating senior, was then remembered for his time at UNH and the impact he had on the program.
Abreu, Myrick and sophomore forward Brian Benson (Rochester, N.Y.) were also recognized for the hardware they took home at last month's America East banquet. Abreu was named to the All-Conference Second Team, Myrick was selected to the All-Rookie Team and Benson was tabbed for the All-Academic Team.
Abreu, who was the only Wildcat to start all 30 games, averaged 14.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He became the 27th member of UNH's 1,000-point club against Hartford at Lundholm Gymnasium on Feb. 6. Abreu ranked eighth in the conference in scoring, as well as ninth in 3-point field goals made per game (1.7) and total minutes (1,000). He led the team in scoring, minutes and free throw percentage (.748), was second in 3-pointers made (52), assists and steals (0.8 spg), third in field goal percentage (.358) and fourth in rebounding and blocks (0.3 bpg). The tri-captain put together a career-best 10-game double-digit scoring streak from Jan. 21-Feb. 20, and scored in double figures in 23 of 30 games, while netting at least nine points in 26 of 30. Abreu poured in a season-high 25 points against both Central Connecticut State (Dec. 9) and Vermont (Feb. 14), and matched his career best with eight rebounds against Colgate (Dec. 30), Hartford (Feb. 6) and Binghamton (Feb. 11).
Onguetou was one of just four Wildcats to play in all 30 games, while making 27 starts. The tri-captain averaged 5.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, ranking fifth and second on the team in those respective categories. Onguetou notched his second career double-double with 11 points and 12 boards against Marist (Nov. 28). He also matched his career best with 12 rebounds at Binghamton (Jan. 30), and netted a season-high 12 points at Harvard (Nov. 25) and versus Central Connecticut State (Dec. 9).
DiLiegro was also one of only four Wildcats to appear in all 30 games, while making 27 starts. The big man averaged career highs of 8.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game. He was 89th in the nation in rebounding, while he ranked third in the conference in both rebounding and field goal percentage (.498). DiLiegro led the team in rebounding and field goal percentage, and was third in scoring. He became the 14th member of UNH's 500 points-500 rebounds club at Albany on Feb. 9, and moved into the top 10 on UNH's all-time rebounding list, while ending the year in seventh (637). DiLiegro posted three double-doubles, including Jan. 7 against Boston U. when he recorded 20 points and a season-high 16 boards. He also poured in a career-high 27 points on 11 of 19 shooting against Marist on Nov. 28. as he won his first America East Player of the Week award.
Myrick, who played in 25 games, including one start, averaged 7.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. He led the team in points per minute (0.53), was second in 3-point field goal percentage (.359) and free throw percentage (.746), third in field goal percentage (.416) and blocks (9), fourth in scoring and fifth in steals (0.52). Myrick averaged 10.1 ppg from Jan. 21 through the end of the season. He poured in a season-high 21 points against Stony Brook (Feb. 28) as he won his first America East Rookie of the Week award. He also pulled in a season-best eight rebounds versus Boston U. (Jan. 7).
Santos, who played in 25 games, including three starts, averaged 4.0 points and 1.2 rebounds per game. He ranked fifth on the team in 3-point field goal percentage (.291) and assists (0.64), and sixth in scoring (4.0). The tri-captain netted 12 points versus Stony Brook on Senior Day (Feb. 28) and scored a season-high 14 points at 25th-ranked Maryland (Nov. 20).
Benson played in 23 games, including three starts, while averaging 3.2 points and 2.8 rebounds. He ranked second on the team in field goal percentage (.459), third in blocks (9) and sixth in rebounding and 3-point field goal percentage (.286). Benson reached career highs in points (13) and rebounds (9) in the America East quarterfinal versus Maine (March 6).
The Wildcats put together another successful season, finishing with their best home (9-4) and non-conference (7-7) records since 1994-95. They went 13-17 overall, giving them back-to-back 13-plus wins seasons for the first time in 15 years. The 'Cats also made their second consecutive semifinal and third in the last five years after making just four in the previous 26 seasons.