UNCW's Kevin Keatts named CAA Coach of the Year
UNCW Press Release
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – UNCW's Kevin Keatts became the first coach in Colonial Athletic Association history to win Coach-of-the-Year honors in consecutive seasons and four of his players – Chris Flemmings, Denzel Ingram, C.J. Bryce and Kevin Hickson – collected postseason accolades in voting announced by league officials late Thursday.
Keatts, who piloted the Seahawks to their second consecutive CAA regular season title, was the overwhelming choice as the circuit's top coach after proving pollsters wrong for the second straight year. UNCW was tabbed to finish sixth in the CAA's preseason poll, but wound up tied for first with a 22-7 overall record and 14-4 mark in the conference in 2015-16.
Keatts joins former UNCW head coaches Jerry Wainwright (1996-97 and 2000-01) and Brad Brownell (2002-03 and 2005-06) as two-time CAA Coach-of-the-Year honorees.
Flemmings, a 6-5, 175-pound junior forward, is believed to be the first walk-on in league history to earn First-Team All-CAA honors. The Cary, N.C., product made the CAA's top unit this season after starting his career at NCAA Division II Barton and transferring to UNCW.
Flemmings ranked seventh in the conference in scoring (15.9 ppg) and 11th in rebounding (6.1 rpg). He was also third in field goal percentage (51.0%), eighth in free throw percentage (80.2%) and eighth in steals (1.4 spg). Flemmings was the Seahawks' leading scorer in 15 games and topped the team in rebounding 11 times.
Joining Flemmings on the All-CAA First-Team were Hofstra senior guard Juan'ya Green, James Madison senior guard Ron Curry, Hofstra sophomore center Rokas Gustys, William & Mary junior guard/forward Omar Prewitt and Northeastern senior guard David Walker.
The speedy Ingram became eligible for the Seahawks this year after transferring from UNC Charlotte and earned Third-Team All-CAA honors. He ranks second in scoring with 12.6 ppg and second in assists with 88 helpers. The Chapel Hill native led the team in scoring in four games, including a 30-point effort in UNCW's 97-94 overtime win over William & Mary on Jan. 16 at Trask Coliseum.
Bryce also made a big splash in his first year with the club. The Charlotte product averaged 10.1 ppg and 4.0 rpg and started 27-of-29 games for the Seahawks en route to All-Rookie honors. He was selected CAA Rookie-of-the-Week four times and poured in a career-high 24 points in UNCW's 79-67 win at Hofstra on Feb. 4, 2016.
Hickson, a walk-on the last two seasons, registered a 3.179 grade point average as a Business Administration major and was named to the CAA's All-Academic unit. He is concentrating on Entrepreneurship and Business Development.
In addition to Keatts, other top honors went to Green as the CAA Player-of-the-Year, College of Charleston freshman forward Jarrell Brantley as the CAA Rookie-of-the-Year and William and Mary senior guard/forward Terry Tarpey as the CAA Defensive Player-of-the-Year. Northeastern senior guard Caleb Donnelly was chosen as the recipient of the Dean Ehlers Leadership Award.
The Seahawks, who reeled off 11 consecutive victories from Jan. 9 to Feb. 13 and tied a school record for wins during the regular season, open play in the 2016 CAA Men's Basketball Championship on Saturday at 6 p.m. against the winner of Friday's game between No. 7 seeded Charleston and No. 10 Delaware.