NORFOLK- The MEAC had plenty of Norfolk State and Hampton representing it. NSU Junior guard Pendarvis Williams was named the MEAC Player of the Year, while Norfolk State men's basketball head coach Anthony Evans was tabbed the Coach of the Year as the all-conference teams and post season honors Sunday afternoon.
In addition to Williams earning a spot on the All-MEAC first team along with the player of the year award, senior forward Rob Johnson earned a spot on the All-MEAC third team, while freshman Rashid Gaston was tabbed to the All-Rookie Team.
Williams led the Spartans with 14.1 points per game and also added 4.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals in leading NSU to the MEAC regular season title at 16-0. He shot 46.7 percent from the floor, 40.7 percent from the 3-point line and 81.4 percent from the charity stripe.
Williams also averaged 14.9 points and 4.8 rebounds in conference games to give the Spartans back-to-back MEAC player of the year awards after Kyle O'Quinn won the honor last year. It also marks the fifth time ever NSU has had a player win the MEAC player of the year award. He finished fifth in the conference in scoring as well as third in 3-point field goal percentage and 3-point field goals per game (2.1) and fourth in free throw percentage.
Evans became the first Spartan coach to win the league's top honor after leading NSU to a perfect record in conference play at 16-0. After losing four starters from last year's MEAC tournament championship team that upset No. 2 seed Missouri in the NCAA tournament, the Spartans notched just the fourth-ever undefeated season in the history of the MEAC. Coppin State was the last school to accomplish the feat in 1993-94.
Evans has also led NSU to a current 15-game win streak heading into the team's first game of the MEAC tournament on Wednesday, tied for the second-longest active win streak in the nation and the longest by an NSU team since 1989-90. The Spartans also finished the year with an 11-0 home record, the first time finishing an entire season undefeated at home since 1970-71.
NSU also won its first outright regular season conference title since capturing the CIAA Northern Division in 1987. The Spartans own a 21-10 overall record to give them their first back-to-back 20 win seasons since 1994-95 and 1995-96.
Across the water, Hampton University freshman Deron Powers was named Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Rookie of the Year, as the conference office announced its 2012-13 men’s basketball honors on Sunday.
Hampton University senior forward Keiara Avant was named Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Player of the Year, while head coach David Six was named Coach of the Year and junior forward Alyssa Bennett was named Defensive Player of the Year as the conference office announced its 2012-13 women’s basketball honors. Avant is the first Lady Pirate to be named MEAC Player of the Year.
She led the Lady Pirates (25-5, 16-0 MEAC) in scoring and rebounding this season, ranking fifth in the MEAC with 16.3 points per game, while pulling down a conference-high 10.3 rebounds per contest. She was also fifth in the MEAC in field goal percentage, hitting 47.0 percent of her shots.
Avant is currently ninth in the nation in double-doubles after recording 19 this season, including four in a row to close out the regular season. She was also a First Team All-MEAC selection.
This is the second MEAC Coach of the Year award for Six; he first won the honor in 2010-11. Six led the Lady Pirates to their third straight MEAC regular-season title (and their sixth overall), and Hampton became the first MEAC team to run the table in conference play since Coppin State in 2006-07. It was also the first perfect MEAC record for the Lady Pirates.
Hampton, which was picked to finish second in the MEAC this season, has won 16 straight games and has not yet lost during the 2013 calendar year.