Men’s Hoop: Catamounts Sweep America East Major Awards

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

BOSTON, MA. – The Vermont men’s basketball team swept the America East Major Awards and landed two others on All-Conference teams, as the conference announced its year-end awards and All-Conference Teams on Monday afternoon.

A total of seven Catamounts received recognition from America East – John Becker (Coach of the Year), Trae Bell-Haynes (Player of the Year), Anthony Lamb (Rookie of the Year), Darren Payen(Sixth Man of the Year), and Dre Wills (Defensive Player of the Year). Ernie Duncan and Payton Henson were also named to the All-Conference Third Team.

Becker was unanimously picked as the America East Coach of the Year by his peers. Becker collects his second career America East Coach of the Year trophy after leading his team to the league’s first 16-0 undefeated conference season and setting a program record with 26 victories. The Cats own the longest active winning streak in the country at 18 games and join Princeton as the only remaining unbeaten conference teams in Division I.

Bell-Haynes becomes the sixth Catamount to win America East Player of the Year – joining UVM legends Marqus Blakely, Taylor Coppenrath, T.J. Sorrentine, Matt Johnson, and Kevin Roberson. Bell-Haynes averaged 12.3 points and 4.1 assists during conference play for Vermont. He finished the regular season ranked fifth in assists and 10th in field goal percentage (48.1%) against league rivals. The junior guard eclipsed the 1,000-career point mark on a win at Stony Brook on Jan. 28. The Toronto, Ontario native also garnered First Team All-Conference honors.

Lamb was tabbed as the unanimous Rookie of the Year. He joins the likes of Brian Voelkel, Mike Trimboli, Taylor Coppenrath, and T.J. Sorrentine  as UVM players to win the award. Lamb earned seven Rookie of the Week nods from the conference – the most by a Vermont player in program history. The freshman ranked second in conference play with 19 blocks and matched Bell-Haynes with 12.3 points per game. The 6-6 forward tallied five straight double-digit outings to close out the regular season and 10 of the last 12 games. Lamb also landed on the All-Conference Second Team and All-Rookie Team.

Payen is the second Catamount to receive the Sixth Man of the Year Award behind teammateCam Ward in 2014-15. He was a key reserve for UVM by dropping 8.3 points and grabbing 2.7 boards per game against conference foes. Payen was the fourth-best shot blocker in the league with 17 swats. The 6-8 big man sank 76.7% (56-of-73) of his attempts from the floor and charted five double-figure games against America East teams.

Wills adds a third All-Defensive Team honor to his career accolades and first Defensive Player of the Year Award. The senior was a lockdown defender for the Catamounts. Wills recorded 31 steals on the season, including 15 against conference opponents. Wills posted 13 blocks during league play – the eighth most among America East leaders.

Duncan was the sixth-best long distance shooter in America East by draining 41.8% (33-for-79) of his attempts. Henson averaged 10.2 points 4.8 rebounds in league play for UVM.

Vermont hosts Maine on Wednesday (March 1) at 7 p.m. in the America East Quarterfinal at Patrick Gym. A limited number of tickets are available and can be purchased at or by visiting the Patrick Gym Box Office during office hours. The game can be seen on ESPN3 and the watchESPN app by logging in with your cable provider.

Canon Solutions America is the presenting sponsor of the 2016-17 season

2016-17 America East Men’s Basketball Awards

First-Team All-Conference
David Nichols, So., G, Albany
Jahad Thomas, Jr., F, UMass Lowell
Tanner Leissner, Jr., F, New Hampshire
Lucas Woodhouse, Sr., G, Stony Brook
Trae Bell-Haynes, Jr., G, Vermont

Second-Team All-Conference
Joe Cremo, So., G, Albany
Will Darley, Sr., F, UMBC
Jairus Lyles, Jr., G, UMBC
Jaleen Smith, Sr., G, New Hampshire
Anthony Lamb, Fr., F, Vermont

Third Team All-Conference
Jalen Ross, Sr., G, Hartford
Daniel Dion, Sr., G, New Hampshire
Tyrell Sturdivant, Jr., F, Stony Brook
Ernie Duncan, So., G, Vermont
Payton Henson, Jr., F, Vermont

All-Defensive Team
Devonte Campbell, So., F, Albany
Thomas Bruce, So., F, Binghamton
K.J. Maura, Jr., G, UMBC
Roland Nyama, Jr., G/F, Stony Brook
Dre Wills, Sr., G, Vermont

All-Rookie Team
Andrew Fleming, Fr., F, Maine
Arkel Lamar, Fr., G/F, UMBC
Rinardo Perry, Fr., G, UMass Lowell
Akwasi Yeboah, R-Fr., G/F, Stony Brook
Anthony Lamb, Fr., F, Vermont

All-Academic Team
Joe Cremo, So., Albany
David Nichols, So., Albany
Mike Rowley, Sr., Albany
John Rinaldi, Sr., Binghamton
Ryan Bernstein, So., Maine
Joe Sherburne, So., UMBC
Bryan Sekunda, Jr., Stony Brook

Kevin Roberson Player of the Year
Trae Bell-Haynes, Vermont

Rookie of the Year
Anthony Lamb, Vermont (Unanimous Selection)

Sixth Man of the Year
Darren Payen, Vermont

Defensive Player of the Year
Dre Wills, Vermont

Coach of the Year
John Becker, Vermont (Unanimous Selection)