From the American:
HARTFORD, Conn. – SMU guard Nic Moore, who led the Mustangs to their first regular-season conference championship since 1993, has been chosen as the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year by the league’s 11 head coaches. The announcement was made Thursday by Commissioner Mike Aresco.
UConn guard/forward Daniel Hamilton was chosen by the coaches as The American’s Rookie of the Year, while Temple head coach Fran Dunphy was tabbed as the conference’s Coach of the Year. UConn guard Pat Lenehan accepted the league’s Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year award after he was chosen by the league’s Academic Affairs Committee.
Moore, a junior from Winona Lake, Indiana, was named as a unanimous all-conference selection Tuesday and adds The American’s Player of the Year honors to his impressive list of accomplishments. He enters the postseason ranked fourth in the conference in scoring (14.4 points per game), second in assists (5.3 apg) and eighth in steals (1.4 spg). He is the conference leader in both 3-point shooting (.429) and free throw shooting (.875).
Moore, who was a Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy top-50 watch list selection, has averaged 12.6 points and 4.6 assists per game in his career. Beyond his individual statistics, Moore has led SMU, which is ranked No. 20 in the week’s Associated Press poll, to the outright regular-season conference championship in 2015 and the most conference wins in a two-year span (27) in school history.
Hamilton was chosen as The American’s top newcomer after he averaged 10.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists in the regular season for the Huskies, emerging as one of the conference’s most versatile players. The Preseason American Rookie of the Year lived up to his billing by starting all 30 games and leading the team in rebounding while ranking second in scoring. He enters the postseason ranked second in The American in rebounding and ninth in assists, finishing the regular season as the only player in the conference’s top 10 in both categories.
Dunphy was chosen by his counterparts as The American Coach of the Year after he engineered a remarkable turnaround for the Owls, who finished 22-9 overall and 13-5 in conference play. Temple, which was 9-22 last season, scored a signature win against then-No. 10 Kansas and surpassed the 20-win mark for the seventh time in nine seasons. He enters postseason play with 499 career wins on a ledger that includes 13 conference championships.
Lenehan, a guard from Cheshire, Connecticut, earned a scholarship this season after spending two years as a walk-on. He was chosen as the Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year after he was named a UConn Babbidge Scholar, a University Scholar, the recipient of the Drotch Scholarship in Biology and the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. Lenehan, who holds a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average as a molecular and cell biology major, has been accepted to a number of prestigious medical schools, including those at Harvard, Columbia, Duke and Johns Hopkins.
Complete coverage of the 2015 American Athletic Conference Championship will be available on the conference’s Championship Central page at www.TheAmerican.org/mbb.
2015 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year
Nic Moore, G, SMU
2015 American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year
Daniel Hamilton, G/F, UConn
2015 American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year
Fran Dunphy, Temple
2015 American Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Pat Lenehan, G, UConn