CENTRAL ISLIP, NY – Junior forward Dyrek Jones of the University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team earned the East Coast Conference defensive player of the year honor while senior guards Nigel Munson and Brandon Herbert were both named to the All-ECC First Team.
Jones (Brooklyn, NY – Bedford Academy) was a major catalyst in UDC's ranking near the top-10 in Division II in opponents' field goal percentage all season long. The 6-foot-7 forward protected the rim for the Firebirds, swatting away 82 shots. His 3.3 blocks per-game average, which led the conference, was more than twice that of the runner up and ranked 5th in all of Division II. Jones also contributed on the defensive end by ranking fifth in the conference with 7.5 rebounds per-game and snagging 22 steals.
The Brooklyn native had seven games of five blocks or more, including a school-record 10 blocks in a Firebirds win over Bridgeport on February 18th, 2012. He also had two double-doubles against Dowling (10 pts., 12 reb.) and C.W. Post (10 pts., 11 reb.).
Munson, always a triple-double threat whenever he is on the floor, has had a spectacular season for the Firebirds that includes 517 points, 173 assists and 147 rebounds. The former DeMatha HS star out of Washington, DC ranks 8th in the nation in assists per-game (6.7), 23rd in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.37) and 31st in scoring (19.9 ppg). He set a school record and is tied for the NCAA yearly game-high with 16 assists in the Firebirds' win over Molloy on February 22nd, 2012.
The Virginia Tech transfer had 20 games of five assists or more and 16 games of 20 points or more, including a season-high 35 points against C.W. Post on January 21st, 2012. Munson shot nearly 50-percent from the floor and 74.3 percent from the free-throw line for the season and had three double-double performances. Against Bridgeport, he was just one assist shy of a triple-double (21 pts., 11 reb., 9 assists). Munson earned a league-best, five ECC player of the week honors throughout the season.
Herbert (Baltimore, MD – McDonough HS) has been among the most prolific scorers and sharpest shooters in the nation all season long. At regular season's end, he ranks 2nd in Division II in three-point field goals per-game (3.5), 22nd in free-throw percentage (87.5) 29th in scoring (19.9 ppg) and 41st in three-point field goal percentage (39.5).
The Binghamton University transfer scored in double-figures every game this season, including 16 games of 20 points or more. Herbert made five or more three-pointers in six different games and was perfect from the free-throw line in 14 games this season.