Avila Named Patriot League Rookie of the Year; Sugars Named to Second Team
Feb. 28, 2011
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- Navy freshman J.J. Avila has been voted the Patriot League's Rookie of the Year and junior Jordan Sugars was named to the All-Patriot League second team, the league office announced today. In addition, freshman Isaiah Roberts joined Avila on the Patriot League All-Rookie Team. The teams were voted on by the league's head coaches and coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.
Bucknell sophomore Mike Muscala was named the Player of the Year. Bucknell junior Bryan Cohen was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season and Bucknell head coach Dave Paulson was voted as the league's Coach of the Year. Bucknell ran away with the league title, posting a 13-1 overall record.
Avila, a 6-7 freshman forward from McAllen, Texas, earns Navy's first Patriot League Rookie of the Year award and the school's second overall as David Robinson was voted the CAA's Rookie of the Year in 1984. Avila ranks second on the team in scoring (11.6), rebounding (5.2) and assists (68), is first in steals (51) and third in blocked shots (17) and three-pointers made (52). He has been named Patriot League Rookie of the Week eight times this year, the fourth most in league history, including in five straight weeks, the second-longest run in league history. Among Navy freshmen all-time, Avila ranks third in points (348), second in steals (51), second in three-pointers made (52), first in three-pointers attempted (158), third in free throw percentage (.829), tied for third in double-figure games (17) and fourth in minutes played (830). Avila has recorded five 20-point games this year, including a 31-point outburst against Towson on Nov. 24, the second-most points for a Navy freshman in school history.
Avila is one of four freshmen nationally to average 10.0 points per game, 5.0 rebounds per game and 2.0 assists per game and is the first Navy freshman in school history to do so. As it stands now, he is just the fourth Navy freshman, and first since Vernon Butler in 1983, to average 10.0 points per game and 5.0 rebounds per game. He joins Butler, Kevin Sinnett (1976) and Hank Kuzma (1975) on the elite list.
The first team consisted of Muscala, Lehigh sophomore C.J. McCollum, American senior Vlad Moldoveanu, Lafayette senior Jared Mintz and Bucknell senior Darryl Shazier. The second team was comprised of Holy Cross junior Devin Brown and senior Andrew Keister, Bucknell sophomore Bryson Johnson, American junior Stephen Lumpkins and Sugars.
The all-Rookie Team consisted of Avila, Roberts, Bucknell's Cameron Ayers, Holy Cross' Dave Dudzinski, Army's Josh Herbeck, Lehigh's Mackey McKnight and Colgate's Pat Moore. There were seven players on the team due to a tie in the voting.
Head coach Billy Lange has now had seven players named to the Patriot League All-Rookie Team during his seven years at Navy. Sugars' honor is the seventh time during Lange's era that the Mids have had a player receive all-conference accolades. It is the 22nd time since Navy joined the Patriot League that a Navy player has been named all-conference.
Of Lange's seven Patriot League Rookie Team honorees, assistant coach Eugene Burroughs has been the primary recruiter for four of them (Trey Stanton, Romeo Garcia, J.J. Avila and Isaiah Roberts). Three of the players (Stanton, Garcia and Avila) come from the state of Texas.
Navy will take on Lehigh in Wednesday's Patriot League Quarterfinals, beginning at 7:00 pm in Bethlehem, Pa.
# GO NAVY #