COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – In exclusive voting by the head coaches of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC), senior guard Keenan Gumbs was selected as SCAC Men's Basketball Player-of-the-Year and his head coach, Connor Kuykendall, was named the league's Coach-of-the-Year for the second consecutive year. Complete Release
In that same balloting, University of Dallas freshman forward Spencer Levi was voted the league's Newcomer-of-the-Year as well as Co-Defensive Player-of-the-Year. Levi shares the DPOTY honor with sophomore forward Danny Rivara of Trinity University.
A three-time SCAC Player-of-the-Week during the regular season, Schreiner's Gumbs is currently ranked in the top 10 in the league in almost every offensive category, including scoring (524 points – first), points per game (21.0 – second), rebounds (175 – sixth), rebounds per game (7.0 – seventh), field goals (166 – second), three-point field goals (50 – sixth), three-point field goals per game (2.0 – tied for seventh), three-point field goal percentage (43.0 percent – second), free throws made (142 – third), free-throw percentage (76.8 percent – ninth), steals (36), and steals per game (1.4 – seventh). In just three seasons, Gumbs has already eclipsed 1,000 career points and stands at 1,061 heading into this weekend's conference tournament. Among his highlights this season, Gumbs had a career-high 46 points on 10-of-15 shooting for the field and 26-of-27 from the charity stripe in a 99-93 overtime victory over Austin College. He easily surpassed SCAC records for free throws made (19) and free throws attempted (22) and his 46 points rank third all-time in the conference record book among single-game performances. In the five years the institution has been in the league, Gumbs is the first Schreiner men's basketball student-athlete to win SCAC Player-of-the-Year honors.
Gumbs received six votes in the Player-of-the-Year balloting while junior guard Nathan Josephs of Texas Lutheran University and Levi of Dallas received one vote each.
Dallas' Levi garnered SCAC Newcomer-of-the-Year and earned a share of the league's Defensive Player-of-the-Year honor after finishing third in the league in scoring (19.0 points per game) and leading the league in rebounds and rebounds per game (287 and 11.5), field goal percentage (70.8), and blocks and blocks per game (69 and 2.8) during the regular season. His 70.8 field goal percentage is good for third in the nation and would break the SCAC single-season record of 67.4 percent set back in 2005-06. He is also seventh in the nation in blocks per game and eighth in rebounds per game. Levi leads all NCAA Division III freshmen in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage as well as double-doubles with 17. A two-time SCAC Player-of-the-Week, Levi was a huge reason the Crusaders are making their first SCAC post-season tournament appearance since 2015 and helped the squad turnaround from a sixth-place showing in scoring margin (-3.0) in 2016-17 to leading the league at +3.7 this season. Since Dallas joined the SCAC prior to the 2011-12 season, Levi is the first Crusader men's basketball student-athlete to win a major postseason conference award.
Levi was the clear choice among the coaches for Newcomer-of-the-Year, earning six votes in the balloting. Josephs of Texas Lutheran and Justice Mercadel of Austin College received one vote each.
A two-time SCAC Player-of-the-Week, Trinity's Rivara averaged 8.3 rebounds (fourth in the SCAC) and 1.8 blocks (second in the SCAC) per game during the regular season, and his defensive prowess helped the Tigers lead the league in field goal percentage defense (40.7 percent) for the second consecutive season. He has 192 total rebounds heading into this weekend's tournament, including 140 on the defensive end (third in the SCAC). Last year's Newcomer-of-the-Year, Rivara also chipped in on the offensive end averaging 16.2 points (ninth in the SCAC) per game. His eight double-doubles this season are currently tied for second in the SCAC. Rivara is the third different Trinity student-athlete to earn SCAC Defensive POTY honors and the selection marks the sixth time a TU player has received the recognition. Sean Devins won the award three straight years from 2002-03 to 2004-05 and Charles Houston received the honor in back-to-back seasons (2007-08 and 2008-09).
Levi and Rivara each received three votes in the Defensive Player-of-the-Year balloting, followed by junior guard Alex Cage of Texas Lutheran and junior forward Kaharri Carter of Centenary with one vote each.
In his fourth season at the helm of the Schreiner program, head coach Connor Kuykendall has led the Mountaineers to back-to-back SCAC regular season titles, including this year's squad that finished 10-4 in SCAC play (13-12 overall) – two games clear of a trio of teams at 8-6. No one has more conference wins the last two seasons than Schreiner's 21. The Mountaineers will be the No. 1 seed at this weekend's conference tournament at Colorado College and will play the winner of the Trinity/Colorado College in Saturday's first semifinal game. Last season, Schreiner made it to the SCAC title game where the team dropped an 83-70 to Texas Lutheran. Kuykendall is the third consecutive coach to win or share back-to-back COTY honors – following Pat Cunningham of Trinity (2012-13 and 2013-14) and Jimmy Smith of Texas Lutheran (2014-15 and 2015-16).
2017-18 SCAC PLAYER-OF-THE-YEAR
Keenan Gumbs, Schreiner University, 6-4, Sr., Guard, Cibolo, Texas
2017-18 SCAC NEWCOMER-OF-THE-YEAR
Spencer Levi, University of Dallas, 6-7, Fy, Forward, St. Louis, Mo.
2017-18 SCAC DEFENSIVE CO-PLAYERS-OF-THE-YEAR
Spencer Levi, University of Dallas, 6-7, Fy., Forward, St. Louis, Mo.
Danny Rivara, Trinity University, 6-7, So., Forward, Horseshoe Bay, Texas
2017-18 SCAC COACH-OF-THE-YEAR
Connor Kuykendall, Schreiner University, 13-12 Overall / 10-4 SCAC / Top seed in SCAC Tourney
2017-18 ALL-SCAC FIRST TEAM
Keenan Gumbs, Schreiner, 6-4, Sr., Guard, Cibolo, Texas
Travion Kirkendoll, Centenary, 6-3, Sr., Guard, Campti, La.
Spencer Levi, Dallas, 6-7, Fy., Forward, St. Louis, Mo.
Danny Rivara, Trinity, 6-7, So., Forward, Horseshoe Bay, Texas
Eric Houska, Colorado College, 6-1, Sr., Guard, Wilton, Conn.
2017-18 ALL-SCAC SECOND TEAM
Blake Kelley, Schreiner, 6-7, Sr., Forward, El Paso, Texas
Cooxooeii Black, Colorado College, 6-7, So., Forward, Lander, Wyo.
Cedric Harris, Centenary, 6-5, So., Guard, Shreveport, La.
Nathan Josephs, Texas Lutheran, 5-10, Jr., Guard, San Antonio, Texas
Darrius Colvin, Dallas, 6-4, Jr., Guard, Waco, Texas
2017-18 ALL-SCAC THIRD TEAM
Matt Jones, Trinity, 5-10, Sr., Guard, Austin, Texas
Justice Mercadel, Austin College, 6-3, Fy., Guard Little Elm, Texas
Brandon Alexander, Southwestern, 6-5, So., Forward, Inez, Texas
Jayden Holden, Trinity, 6-4, Sr., Forward, The Woodlands, Texas
Isiah Specks, Trinity, 6-4, Jr., Forward, Pearland, Texas
HONORABLE MENTION (players receiving votes)
Austin College – Michael Holland (Fy., F); Centenary – Kaharri Carter (Jr., F), Treylan Matthews (Jr., G); Colorado College – John Hatch (Sr., G); Dallas – Michael Wambsganss (Fy., G); Schreiner – Ellis Jones (Fy., G), Luis Mancillas (Sr., G); Southwestern – Kyle Howard (So., G), Ryan Wheeler (So., G); Texas Lutheran – Sebastian Andrade (Fy., G), Jacob Kouremetis (Jr., G)
Coaches voted for 15 places for All-SCAC with 15 points awarded for first-place votes, 14 points for second-place votes, 13 points for third-place votes, etc., down to one point for a 15th-place vote. All players not elected to the First, Second or Third Team, but who received at least one vote, were named Honorable Mention. Coaches could not vote for their own players.
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