HARTFORD, Conn. — UConn freshman Daniel Hamilton (Los Angeles, Calif.) was named the Rookie of the Year and senior Pat Lenehan (Cheshire, Conn.) was named the Scholar-Athlete of the Year as the American Athletic Conference announced its top individual awards for men’s basketball at a press luncheon Thursday.
Other awards announced today included SMU junior guard Nic Moore as the league’s Player of the Year and Temple coach Fran Dunphy as the Coach of the Year.
Hamilton, a 6-7 swingman, has started every game this season for the Huskies and has filled the box score with his solid all-around play. He is UConn’s leading rebounder at 7.6 per game and led the entire conference in rebounding in league games at 9.1 per game.
Hamilton is also UConn’s second-leading scorer at 10.8 points per game and is second in assists at 3.6 per game. In conference games, those numbers went up to 11.0 points and 4.0 assists per game. He is among the top 20 in scoring, rebounding and assists in the league.
Hamilton, who was an Honorable Mention All-AAC pick, was named the AAC Rookie of the Week four times during the season. He reached double figures in 17 games, led UConn in rebounding in 17 games and recorded five double-doubles, the most on the team. His season-high 25 points against Memphis on Feb. 19 were the most by a UConn freshman since Jerome Dyson in 2006-07 and his 17-rebound performance against East Carolina on Feb. 25 were the most by a UConn freshman since Corny Thompson in 1978-79.
Hamilton joins a list of UConn players who have won the Rookie of the Year Award that includes Earl Kelley (1982-83), Nadav Henefeld (1989-90), Doron Sheffer (1993-94), Khalid El-Amin (1997-98) and Rudy Gay (2004-05), all in the Big East Conference.
Lenehan, a 6-3 guard, is a former walk-on who earned a UConn scholarship this season. He has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA as a molecular and cell biology major and intends to pursue a medical career with a specialty in cancer research. A Rhodes Scholar finalist, he has already been accepted to medical school at Harvard, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Columbia and UConn.
Lenehan has received some of the highest academic honors UConn can bestow, including the Goldwater Scholarship, the Presidential Scholars Award Scholarship, the UTC Academic Scholarship, and he has been recognized as a Babbidge Scholar.
He is the second UConn player to win a conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year, joining two-time Big East Scholar-Athlete winner Emeka Okafor (2002-03, 2003-04).
Earlier this week, UConn sophomore Amida Brimah was named the AAC Defensive Player of the Year, senior Ryan Boatright was a unanimous first team All-ACC pick, Hamilton was a unanimous pick to the All-Rookie Team and Brimah and Hamilton were Honorable Mention all-league selections.