Ben Eisenhardt Named Conference Player of the Year
Walla Walla, Wash. -- Whitman men's basketball player Ben Eisenhardt (Jr., Bainbridge Island, WA)has been named the Northwest Conference Player of the Year. The NWC announced its all-conference team today and the 6 - 10 forward who averaged 16.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, ranking him fourth and seventh in the conference, respectively, was chosen by a vote of the conference coaches.
Eisenhardt was selected Honorable Mention last season and this is the second consecutive season that a Missionary has been name POY -- David Michaels earned the honor last season.
Upon learning of Eisenhardt winning the honor, Whitman head coach Eric Bridgeland said, "I am so happy for Ben. He is as good a person and student as he is a basketball player. As much as he has statistically carried us on the floor, this pales in comparison to his growth as a leader."
Ben Eisenhardt, Jr.
Other Missionaries receiving recognition were point-guard Josh Duckworth (Jr., Los Angeles, CA) who was named Second Team All-Conference and forward Matt Mounier (Jr., Encino, CA) who garnered Honorable Mention honors.
"Ben, Duck and Matt have been pillars for us this season, "said Bridgeland. "As excited as our staff is for their acknowledgement from the rest of the conference, their teammates' excitement and congrats will be even higher. Proud of them."
Eisenhardt was twice named Male Basketball Student-Athlete of the Week during the regular season, the first time after he scored a career-high 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds on December 29 in a home win over Simpson College, the second following a 27 point performance against conference foe Linfield in January. Eisenhardt ranked fifth in conference field goal percentage at 54.3 %.
Josh Duckworth, Jr.
Duckworth received the Student-Athlete of the Week honor also during the 2012 - 13 campaign when he scored 32 points on the road at Lewis & Clark, single-handedly staging a furious late game comeback by scoring the Missionaries last 17 of 19 points. "Duck" also hit the 30-point mark in a win over George Fox . He also ranked third in steals at 1.9 per game.
"We believe Duck to be as good a playmaker and leader as there is in the NWC", Bridgeland said. "He is so deserving of being named All-NWC. He has made countless plays and hit critical shots to lift our program to a higher level, and he's not done."
Mounier poured in 14.4 points per game (8th in conference) and hit 37.7 % on three-point attempts, ranking fourth. He also was right behind Duckworth in steals per game at 1.8.
Matt Mounier, So.
On Mounier's selection, Bridgeland had this to say: "This is just the beginning for Matt Mounier. His growth as a person and student-athlete, never mind his growth as a player, in the last 9 months is astounding. He's put up so many shots in that time . . . we believe he broke our shoot-a-way."
The trio of Missionaries helped lead the squad to its most conference wins in school history (12) and second best conference winning percentage (.750) and a perfect 8 - 0 home conference mark.
Other members of the conference first team were Whitworth's Wade Gebbers and Dustin McConnell, Sean Atkins (George Fox), Colin Wester (Pacific) and James Hollins (Lewis & Clark).
The Coach of the Year: Mark Sundquist, George Fox
For a complete listing of the all-conference team click http://www.nwcsports.com/sports/mbkb/2012-13/releases/MBB_All_NWC_2013
The Women's team and coach will be announced tomorrow.
Whitman Sports Information Director