STANDISH, Maine - The Maine Men's Basketball Coaches and Writers Association (MMBCWA) postseason accolades have been announced and three Saint Joseph's College team members have earned honors.
Head Coach Rob Sanicola '99 has been selected as the MMBCWA Coach of the Year, freshman guard Jack Casale (Portland, Maine/Cheverus) has garnered MMBCWA Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie Team awards, and junior guard Darian Berry (Rochester, N.H.) has collected First Team All-State accolades.
Sanicola, who just completed his 15th season at the helm for the Monks, earns the third MMBCWA coaching award of his career – and first since 2009 – after leading Saint Joseph's to a 16-10 overall record, including a 11-5 mark in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) play this winter. The Monks earned the #3 seed in the GNAC Tournament and hosted #6 Suffolk University in a quarterfinal on February 20th. St. Joe's also posted a 5-2 record versus MMBCWA opponents this season.
Through 15 seasons, Sanicola's career record stands at 242-164 (.596). He ranks second in program history in victories and winning percentage.
Casale, the first Saint Joseph's player to be named as the MMBCWA Rookie of the Year since 2015 when teammate Quinn Richardson-Newton (Saco, Maine) earned the honor, averaged 11.7 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting 40.1% (105-262) from the floor, 33.3% (50-150) from three-point range, and 77.2% (44-57) from the free-throw line during his freshman season. He led the Monks in scoring in three different games and was the team's top rebounder in eight contests and is the first SJC freshman (and fourth overall) to net at least 50 three-pointers since Stephen Chase made 51 trifectas during the 1989-90 campaign.
Casale collected a pair of MMBCWA Rookie of the Week accolades during his freshman season and was chosen as the GNAC Rookie of the Week on four occasions.
Berry collects First Team All-State honors after pacing the Monks in scoring (17.0 PPG), points (442), rebounding (5.7 RPG), rebounds (148), field goals made (162), field goals attempted (344), three-pointers made (79), three-pointers attempted (190), and three-point percentage (41.6%) during his breakout junior season. His three-point field goal total ranks as the seventh-highest mark in program history and his scoring average is the third highest in the last 13 seasons.
Berry claimed a pair of MMBCWA Player of the Week honors during his junior season. He ranked second in the State of Maine in scoring average and sixth in three-point field goal percentage this winter.
In the final MMBCWA Coaches Poll of the year, Saint Joseph's was ranked second with one first-place vote and 34 total points. Bowdoin College (15-9) is ranked first with 52 points while Husson (19-7), Bates College (12-12), and Maine-Farmington (14-13) round out the top five.