GoLocal’s All-Rhode Island D-I Basketball Team
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Here’s a look at GoLocalProv.com’s All-Rhode Island First and Second Teams along with out Coach and Rookie of Year:
Dyami Starks - 1st
Dyami Starks So. G (Bryant) – Bulldogs’ coach Tim O’Shea kept telling all who would listen how good Starks was while he sat out last season after transferring to the school from Columbia University. He couldn’t have been more right! Starks led the Bulldogs in scoring at 17.7 ppg and shot 45% from the field, 40% from three and 84% from the free throw line. He was a big reason for the team’s record 17-win improvement from a season ago.
Alex Francis - 1st
Alex Francis Jr. F (Bryant) – Francis wrapped up an outstanding junior season in Smithfield by averaging 17.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. He shot 57% from the field and was really the team’s only legitimate inside presence in a team that essentially played four guards.
Bryce Cotton - 1st
Bryce Cotton Jr. G (Providence) – It is one thing to lead your team in scoring. It’s another thing to lead the entire Big East Conference in scoring that is exactly what Cotton did with his 19.6 ppg. When teams prepared to face PC, their defensive game plans started by focusing on Cotton whom they still had trouble stopping. What makes him such a great scorer is his great perimeter skills and his ability to create off the bounce.
Kadeem Batts - 1st
Kadeem Batts Sr. F (Providence) – No one, and I mean no one, expected Batts to have the stellar season that he did and it was a big reason for PC’s success. Batts averaged 15.2 ppg and 7.4 rpg and gave PC a true inside presence. While many expected Henton to be the man up front, it was Batts who led the way.
Matt Sullivan Sr. G (Brown) – Sullivan wrapped up his stellar career on College Hill by eclipsing the 1,000 point plateau and playing in more games (115) than any player in Brown basketball history. Even more impressive than his team-leading 14.1 ppg was the fact that he was continually asked to defend the opponent’s best player – a job he welcomed and flourished in. After three frustrating years as a team, it was nice for Sullivan and the Bears to enjoy success his senior year finishing 7-7 in the Ivy League.
More importantly, Sullivan this year was a 1st Team Academic All-American and will graduate from Brown with a 4.0 GPA.
Xavier Munford - 2nd
Xavier Munford Jr. G (URI) – On a team that was clearly offensively challenged, Munford was the only consistent scoring option night in and night out. He averaged a team-best 17.4 ppg averaging almost 36 minutes per game for the Rams. He gives Dan Hurley an experienced scorer and a go-to guy on a team that will be a lot more talented next season and expected to compete in the Atlantic Ten.
Vincent Council - 2nd
Vincent Council Sr. G (Providence) – Council played in just 20 games this past season due to injury and probably wasn’t himself for 5 or 6 of those. Still, he managed to break the legendary Ernie DeGregorio’s assist record at PC and became the Big East’s all-time disher as well. If healthy, Council (10.0 ppg, 7.0 apg) clearly would have been on our first team.
Frankie Dobbs - 2nd
Frankie Dobbs Sr. G (Bryant) – While Dobbs’ numbers (13.5 ppg, 5.1 apg) don’t jump off the page at you, he was clearly that “glue guy” and the man that ran the show for the 19-win Bulldogs. The son of Bryant assistant coach Frank “Happy” Dobbs, Frankie was like a coach on the floor for his entire career.
Sean McGonagill - 2nd
Sean McGonagill Jr. G (Brown) – No one has to work harder night in and night out than Sean McGonagill who other teams try to wear down with their full-court pressure. The focus of opponents’ defenses, McGonagill still managed to score 14.0 ppg, pull down 4.5 rpg and dish out a team-best 3.9 apg. He also passed the 1,000-point mark in his junior year.
Rafael Maia - 2nd
Rafael Maia So. F (Brown) – The Brazilian big man played his first season for the Bears after sitting out due to NCAA rules as a freshman and did not disappoint. He averaged 10.5 ppg and led the Ivy League in rebounding at 7.5 rpg finishing a grand total of one rebound ahead of his teammate Cedric Kuakumensah for the league’s rebounding title. His low post moves are extraordinary but he needs to improve both his finishing skills and his free throw shooting to take his career to the elite level.
Rookie of the Year
Rookie of the Year: Cedric Kuakumensah Fr. F (Brown) – Despite playing his high school basketball at nearby St. Andrews in Barrington, no one expected the type of freshman year at Brown that Kuakumensah had. He set the Brown school record for most blocked shots (66) in a single season and led the Ivy League in blocked shots. He finished one rebound shy (210-209) of the league’s rebounding title as well behind his teammate Maia. While he averaged only 6.9 ppg, it was his presence on the defensive end of the floor that was Bill Russell-esque. When he wasn’t blocking shots, he was altering shots and in the heads of opposing players. He should have an outstanding career for the Bears.
Coach of the Year
Coach of the Year: Tim O’Shea (Bryant) – You would think that a 17-win turnaround from last year to this year would have made O’Shea a lead-pipe cinch for this award but that wasn’t the case. Ed Cooley’s Friars went through many ups and downs yet the PC coach was the steadying influence throughout the season and has the team in contention for a possible NCAA Tournament berth. Likewise, Mike Martin led the Brown Bears to an improbable 7-7 league record and terrific non-conference wins over the Friars and Niagara. Even Dan Hurley, despite URI’s 8 wins, managed to put his stamp on his program laying the groundwork for future success. Rhode Island is blessed with four very good basketball coaches at the D-1 level.