WILMINGTON, NC (COURTESY UNCWSPORTS.COM) — It’s only fitting that UNCW’s ultra-successful men’s basketball season in 2016-17 be rewarded by a record number of postseason honors from the Colonial Athletic Association.
Such was the case late Thursday when the CAA announced that five Seahawks have been named to the league’s All-Conference teams, including one of the conference’s brightest young stars as the circuit’s top defensive player. Voted was conducted by the league’s head coaches, media relations directors and members of the media.
The news came on the eve of the 2017 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship, where the Seahawks (26-5, 15-3) are the No. 1 seed after sitting atop the conference standings wire-to-wire in 2016-17. The Seahawks begin their quest for a sixth CAA title early Saturday, March 4, at noon when Coach Kevin Keatts and his club battle the winner of Friday’s first-round matchup between No, 8 Hofstra and No. 9 at the North Charleston Coliseum.
Senior guard Chris Flemmings and sophomore guard C.J. Bryce were named First-Team All-CAA, senior guard Denzel Ingram collected Second-Team honors, sophomore forward Devontae Cacok picked up Third-Team All-CAA accolades and graduate guard Ambrose Mosley made the league’s All-Academic Team. In addition, the emerging Cacok was named to the CAA’s All-Defensive unit and pegged as the league’s Defensive Player-of-the-Year.
Northeastern senior guard T.J. Williams was selected as the CAA Player-of-the-Year. Also receiving top honors were College of Charleston’s Earl Grant as the CAA Coach of the Year, Delaware freshman guard Ryan Daly as the CAA Rookie of the Year and Cacok as the CAA Defensive Player of the Year. College of Charleston junior forward Evan Bailey was chosen as the recipient of the Dean Ehlers Leadership Award.
“I’m very proud of these young men and they certainly deserve to be recognized for their hard work,” said Keatts. “They have each worked extremely hard since the off season to improve their games and be great teammates.”
Flemmings, a 6-5, 175-pound slasher, is the only repeat selection on the CAA’s First-Team unit after powering the Seahawks to the CAA title one year ago. The Cary, N.C., product averaged 15.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists and started all 31 games for the Seahawks this season. He joins former standouts Brian Rowsom, Brett Blizzard and Keith Rendleman as the only back-to-back First-Team selections in UNCW history.
Bryce, a talented second-year scorer from Charlotte, N.C., made a giant leap in his second season with the Seahawks after earning CAA All-Rookie honors last season. Bryce ranked fourth in the CAA in scoring at 17.5 points per game and added 5.6 caroms each contest. He turned in 10 games of 20+ points and was named the CAA’s Player-of-the-Week last week after averaging 25.5 points in the final week of the regular season.
Ingram, a senior out of Chapel Hill, also enjoyed an outstanding season after propelling the Seahawks to their sixth CAA crown in 2015-16. The combo guard is averaging 14.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists heading to Charleston. Ingram leads the circuit in assists per game and ranks 12th nationally in assist/turnover ratio and 18th in total assists.
Like Bryce, Cacok had a breakout year after learning the ropes as a freshman. The Riverdale, Ga., performer averaged 12.2 points and ranked second in the CAA with 9.8 rebounds each time on the court. He leads all players in NCAA Division I with a field goal percentage of 78.7 and has slammed an impressive 76 dunks this year.
Mosley, a fifth-year player, made the All-Academic Team after completing his undergraduate degree at Old Dominion and enrolling in UNCW’s Master’s of Health and Physical Education program.
Cacok was also voted to the CAA’s All-Defensive Team and selected as the loop’s Defensive Player-of-the-Year. He becomes only the second player in UNCW history to pick up the honor, following the footsteps of Hall of Famer John Goldberry (2004-05) with 40 blocks and 36 steals this season.
For updates throughout the 2017 CAA Men’s Basketball Championship, visit UNCWsports.com and click on the Men’s Basketball button. Additional information is also available on UNCW’s social media channels: Facebook (UNCW Men’s Basketball), Twitter (@UNCWmenshoops), Instagram (UNCWBasketball).