Amherst's Toomey Named Player of the Year
HADLEY, Mass. – Junior guard Aaron Toomey of Amherst has been chosen by the conference coaches as the NESCAC Player of the Year. Toomey has helped Amherst to its second straight NESCAC Championship as the 25-2 Jeffs earned a bye in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament and will host a Second Round game on Saturday, March 9. He is the fourth Amherst player to be selected as Player of the Year and first since Andrew Olson earned back to back honors in 2007 and 2008.
Toomey makes his second straight First Team appearance after being named Rookie of the Year in 2011. In 27 games, Toomey leads his squad, averaging 17.1 points per game and 5.1 assists per game. His points per game are fifth in the NESCAC, while he ranks second in assists per game. Toomey also leads the league with a .908 free throw percentage and is second with 2.89 three pointers made per game. He also averages 4.6 rebounds per game and has helped Amherst to big wins this year, including the game winning three in a 104-101 triple overtime thriller at Middlebury to lock up the top seed in the NESCAC championship.
Joining Toomey on the First Team is teammate Willy Workman. The senior guard earns his second straight All-NESCAC selection, as he was a 2012 Second Team pick and Defensive Player of the Year. Among conference players, Workman is third in rebounds per game with 7.7 and third with 1.56 blocked shots per game.
Middlebury junior Joey Kizel picked up his second straight First Team honor. Averaging 14 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, Kizel has led the Panthers to their sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament. His 4.21 assists per game are good for fifth in the NESCAC, while his 1.79 steals per game are second.
Williams junior center Michael Mayer gets his first All-NESCAC recognition with a First Team appointment. Mayer leads the NESCAC with 8.9 rebounds per game, while his 17.4 points per game and 57.1 field goal percentage are good for third.
Rounding out the First Team is Middlebury’s Nolan Thompson. The senior guard has shut down numerous opponent’s top scorers, while scoring 12.5 points per game, averaging 2.08 three point field goals per game, and tying for the team-lead with 5.3 rebounds a game. Thompson also garnered Defensive Player of the Year honors, which is the fourth such recognition for Middlebury in the last five seasons.
Tufts center Tom Palleschi was named the conference’s Rookie of the Year. Emerging as a force in the middle for the Jumbos, Palleschi averaged 13.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game in conference play. He shot .570 from the floor and scored a season-high 27 points against Middlebury on January 5. He is the second straight Jumbo to earn NESCAC Rookie of the Year honors, with sophomore guard Ben Ferris being recognized last season.
Amherst head coach David Hixon was the choice among his peers, garnering Coach of the Year for the third time in his career. Hixon was also recognized in 2001 and 2005. In his 36th season with the Jeffs, Hixon’s squad completed their second straight undefeated NESCAC slate.
Men's Basketball All-Conference Teams