STANDISH, ME – The 2010-11 Saint Joseph's College men's basketball team awards have been announced. Five players have been recognized for their efforts during the Monks' successful season, which ended with a setback in the GNAC Championship game in late February.
For the second consecutive year, Tom Ray '12 (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) has received a pair of team honors, as the rising senior forward has earned the Defensive Player of the Year honor as well as the Jim Killoran Award for the second time in as many years. Ray logged valuable minutes coming off the bench in all 28 of the Monks' contests last winter and served as a relentless defender as well as a viable offensive option.
The Jim Killoran Award is given annually to the hardest worker in practice. Killoran graduated from St. Joe's in 1980 and was known for his tireless work ethic in practice as well as his caring and inspirational manner.
Clark Noonan '14 (Bangor, Maine) has been selected as the Monks' Most Improved Player. The 6'6 center worked his way into the starting lineup in early January and proceeded to start in 18 of the Monks' last 20 games. During this stretch, Noonan gained the respect of fans and coaches alike with his hustle and defensive tenacity. He capped his rookie campaign averaging 5.0 points and 4.4 boards per game and is certain to be a factor in the Monks' future success.
The Rivalries Coaches Award, sponsored by Rivalries Sports Pub and Grill in Portland, Maine, has been given to Terence Cullen '14 (Massapequa, N.Y. /Lee Academy). A bruising 6'4 forward, Cullen appeared in 18 contests and averaged 5.7 minutes on the court as a freshman.
For the second consecutive season, Chris Petzy '12 (Kensington, N.H./Exeter) has received the Charles Warren Award, which goes to the player who is selected as the hardest-working player during the pre-season conditioning period. Petzy's work paid off during his junior season, when the 6'2 guard averaged 15.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists and led the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) with a 45.5% (65-143) three-point field goal percentage.
Charles Warren graduated from St. Joe's in 1988 and was well known for his incredible work ethic, which allowed him to develop into a polished player and finish his career with 1,287 points.
Zach O'Brien '12 (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) has been selected as the Chris Kiernan Award –given annually to the Monks' most valuable player - recipient for the second consecutive season. O'Brien garnered First Team All-GNAC and All-State honors after leading the Monks in scoring (17.0 PPG), rebounding (4.8 RPG) and assists (4.3 APG). He became the 12th player in SJC men's basketball history to reach the 1,000-point mark as a junior and is only the second Monks hoopster to lead the team in scoring, rebounding and assists in the same season.
Chris Kiernan came to Saint Joseph's in 1970 after playing collegiately for nationally-ranked Assumption College. In addition to coaching the Monks for eight years, Kiernan also served as Athletic Director, Director of the Continuing Education Program, Dean of Students, Director of Financial Aid and Director of Admissions at Saint Joseph's. He was responsible for obtaining the original Monk uniforms when Assumption Prep closed in 1970, and he breathed life into the program when he comprised a schedule and put together a team beginning with the 1970-71 season. His tireless efforts and love for the game of basketball laid the foundation for all future successes. Regrettably, Kiernan passed away in August of 2009 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Under the guidance of Head Coach Rob Sanicola '99 – the 2011 GNAC Men's Basketball Coach of the Year, Saint Joseph's went 20-8 overall and 14-4 in GNAC play en route to capturing the top seed in the 2011 GNAC Tournament. The Monks defeated Mount Ida and Norwich in the quarter and semi-final rounds, respectively, before falling to #2 Johnson & Wales University in the championship game before a full house at the Harold Alfond Center.