Top Five Brits in NCAA Division 1 for the 2012/13 Season -

Top Five Brits in NCAA Division 1 for the 2012/13 Season

By Rowan Shiell
We have finally gotten around to naming our top five British-born players in the American college basketball system,  division one. There were no surprises as all these guys have dominated our weekly updates at one point or another and their inclusion is all but a foregone conclusion.

Andrew Lawrence, Point guard, College of Charleston

Statistically, Andrew Lawrence’s senior season was not much different to his junior season. The only major difference is his assist numbers which took a slight dip.

The number that did matter most, wins, went the right way.

College of Charleston finished with a 10-8 record (19-12 overall) for fourth place in the South division of the Southern conference, in 2012. This season they won 14 games and had the second best record in conference and a 24-11 overall record.

Charleston was one game away from winning the Southern conference championship and making the NCAA tournament. They just could not get by Davidson, a team they met three times, the last time being in the Southern conference championship game.

They were invited to the CBI tournament where they lost in the first round to George Mason.

Lawrence was named to the All Conference Second team by the media, for the second year running.

He was fourth in conference in assists and also led his team in scoring, assists and steals. His season averages were 13.5 points, 3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals.

He was awarded the player of the week five times, the most by any player.

Ashley Hamilton, Forward, Loyola Marymount Lions

Hamilton who has a history of injuries, managed to go the entire season healthy.  He was on his way to his best season (15 pts, 8rebs pg) at Loyola Marymount until conference play, where the wins took a nose dive.

Loyola Marymount went 1-15 in conference play.

One of the greatest things about college basketball is, if you mess up your season, there is always a second chance in the conference tournament. Every team starts conference tournaments at 0-0, even the higher seeded teams that were rewarded with a first round bye.

For four days, Loyola Marymount Lions found their heart and battled with everything they had to win their first three games in the West Coast Conference tournament.  the fourth game was a loss to the No.1 ranked team to the country, Gonzaga, but for the first twenty minutes it was difficult to tell which team was ranked as LMU was a basket away from winning the half.

Sadly the game is indeed made up of two halves and, in the second, Gonzaga was able to use their length to pull away and end the unusual season of Loyola Marymount and the college career of Ashley Hamilton.

Hamilton was the second leading scorer for the Lions with 12.9 points a game and was also the leading rebounder with 7.1 rebounds per contest.

He was twice named the player of the week.

Alasdair Fraser, Power Forward, Maine Black Bears

Fraser had the distinction of being named The British Emerging Athlete of the year. That was for his role in leading the Great Britain U20 squad, in scoring, at the European Championships last summer

It prepared him well for the season as Fraser was the leading rebounder for Maine and was also second in scoring. He finished the season with averages of 13.4 points and 8.1 rebounds whilst having seven double doubles and being a force inside for the Black Bears.

The 6’7” forward from Falkirk, Scotland, was awarded the player of the week three times.

Keith Rendleman, Forward, UNCW

At the start of the season, Keith Rendleman faced a dilemma; should he redshirt and sit the season out, knowing that his team will not be allowed to play in the post season due to academic sanctions, or he could have transferred and played immediately at any other school that would have him. The third option was to remain loyal to his school and play the season out.

He went with the latter option and by season’s end he was the all time leading rebounder and fourth leading scorer for UNCW.

He was also named to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) first team and also the CAA All Defensive team.

The awards kept piling up for Rendleman as he was recently named to the Lou Henson All America team and is a finalist for the Lou Henson award, given to the most outstanding mid major player of the season.

Rendleman is also a four time recipient of the player of the week award which included a stretch where he won three consecutive weeks.

Rendleman is tied for second in double doubles (rebounds and points) with 20 in the regular season in all of division one basketball. He was eleventh in rebounds per game.

The 6’8” forward finished the season with averages of 17 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.

Which makes his exclusion daunting from the list of invitees of the Portsmouth Invitational, which invites who they deem to be the 64 best seniors in the country to play in a tournament in from of NBA executives.

Will Neighbour, Forward, UALR Trojans

Neighbour averaged 10.7 points, 7 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game as he picked up All-Sun Belt Conference honours for the second-consecutive year.

Being forced to miss a shot at the Olympics last summer after shoulder surgery prevented him taking up his GB Senior Men training camp invite, the 6’10” forward was named Third Team All-Sun Belt, shooting 45.1% from the field, whilst finishing with five double-doubles on the season, tying him for sixth-most in the conference. He finished the season strong as he led UALR in scoring in 15 of the final 18 contests.

UALR finished with a 17-15 record overrall, 11-9 in Sun Belt play, seeing their season come to an end with a loss to FIU in the SBC Tournament quarter finals.

Honourable Mention

Ben Mockford, Shooting Guard, St Francis NY
Mockford shoots threes. Of the nine shot attempts per game he took, seven of them were from behind the three point line. He connected on just under 40% of his shots, a six percent improvement on last year where he hit them at a 34% clip.

On the season the junior averaged 11.1 points a game and was twice named the player of the week.

Thoughts? Who were you most impressed with this season?

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