ALBANY, N.Y. - The conference's top individual award winners were released Thursday evening before a large room full of athletes, coaches, media and administrators at the Times Union Center here with a typically well-organized, well-done ceremony complete with dynamic video hightlights.
The award winners ...
Player of the Year: Siena's senior guard Kenny Hasbrouck.
Rookie of the Year: Iona's freshman point guard Scott Machado.
Sixth Man of the Year: Siena's sophomore guard Clarence Jackson.
Defensive Player of the Year: Niagara's junior guard Tyrone Lewis.
Coach of the Year: Siena's Fran McCaffery.
Player of the Year: Marist's junior forward Rachele Fitz.
Rookie of the Year: Iona's freshman forward Kristina Ford.
Sixth Player of the Year: Canisius' junior forward Elle Radke.
Defensive Player of the Year: Canisius' Brittane Russell.
Coach of the Year: Canisius' Terry Zeh.
There won't be much debate about any of those awards here.
This blogger was told by a number of sources that the closest balloting for any of the top individual awards was for the Men's Player of the Year, and that only seemed right.
Any of the five first-team selectees (other first-team selections were Siena's Edwin Ubiles, Rider's Ryan Thompson and Niagara standouts Bilal Benn and Tyrone Lewis) would have been worthy selections in a year where there wasn't a single indidual who truly stood head and shoulders above the field.
Even Hasbrouck expressed some surprise for being honored.
"Honestly, I thought Ryan Thompson might get it," said Hasbrouck, whose parents Jeffrey and Deborah made the trip from their Baltimore area home for the ceremony. "To have them here to see this just felt great. They give me so much support during the season."
The award, though, came as no surprise to Hasbrouck's coach.
"I was not surprised at all because I thought he deserved it," said Saints' coach McCaffery. "This was an exceptional group of first-team selections, but Kenny deserved this for all he accomplished in terms of putting our team on his back.
"He went through some tough periods (earlier in the season), but those problems were only reflected in his scoring statistics. He did not let it affect the other parts of his game, and he still found ways to help us win. What he does for us takes place at both ends of the court."