STANDISH, ME - The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) has announced the 2011-12 Men's Basketball All-Conference teams and two Saint Joseph's College players have been recognized.
Senior guard Zach O'Brien (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) has garnered First Team honors for the second consecutive season while fellow senior Chris Petzy (Kensington, N.H./Exeter), a Second Team recipient, receives All-Conference accolades for the first time.
O'Brien, who also earned Second Team mention as a sophomore, paced the Monks in scoring (17.3 PPG), rebounding (4.6 RPG) and free throws made (76) and ranked second on the team in assists (3.0 APG), field goal percentage (43.9%) and steals (1.2 SPG). The four-year starter and second-year team co-captain led the SJC squad in scoring in 14 different contests and joins former teammate Ray Eatmon '10 as one of two St. Joe's men's basketball players to have earned a trio of All-GNAC accolades in their career.
As a senior and second-year starter, Petzy paced the conference in three-pointers made (63) and free-throw percentage (85.9%) and ranked second in the GNAC in three-point percentage with a 39.9% rate from downtown, just behind his teammate, sophomore Matthew Medeiros (Westport, Mass.), who shot an even 40% from beyond the arc. The second-year co-captain led the Monks' scoring efforts in eight different games during his final collegiate campaign.
With 26 points in a loss to Albertus Magnus on February 18th O'Brien became the ninth player in program history to net 1,500 career points. He capped his career as the Monks' eighth-leading scorer with 1,533 points and is one of just two SJC players - all-time great Jeff Creech '86 being the other - to tally at least 1,500 points, 450 rebounds and 350 assists in their career.
Petzy dropped 31 points in a win over Husson University on November 30th to become the 35th player in SJC men's basketball history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. He finished his four years with 1,287 points and leaves the program tied for second with former teammate Tyler Kelley '11 in three-pointers made (199) and sits behind only Kelley in career three-point field goal percentage (42.1%).
The 2,820 combined career points total tallied by O'Brien and Petzy is the most scored by a graduating duo since Carl Howell '99 and Mike Hynes '99 worked together to amass 3,033 points over four seasons.
Along with the All-Conference teams the GNAC releases an All-Sportsmanship Team, an honor voted on by players and coaches from each program. Sophomore forward Nicholas Jobin (Westbrook, Maine/Westbrook) is the Monks' 2011-12 All-Sportsmanship representative after posting a breakout season with 9.5 points and 4.2 caroms per contest.
Under the watch of ninth-year Head Coach Rob Sanicola '99 (157-89, .638), Saint Joseph's went 18-9 overall and posted a 13-5 mark against GNAC opponents en route to earning the #2 seed in the conference tournament this season. The Monks hosted a pair of tournament tilts as the Royal Blue toppled #7 Mount Ida College, 79-43, in a quarterfinal on February 21st before being edged by #6 Anna Maria College, 60-59, in a semifinal matchup on February 23rd.
Saint Joseph's College, founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy, celebrates its Centennial year in 2012 with a theme of "Realize the Promise" – honoring our commitment to educating well-rounded graduates who combine career focus with classic liberal arts studies. A Private, Catholic, primarily residential, coeducational liberal arts institution, Saint Joseph's welcomes students of all ages and all faiths. The campus, located 18 miles northwest of Portland and just two hours from Boston, encompasses 350 acres along the shore of beautiful Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine. Enrollment ranges between 1,000 and 1,100 students annually. Saint Joseph's offers challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences, education, nursing and business fields in a value-centered environment.